Coronavirus – Uganda: Annual Martyrs day postponed

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KAMPALA – The Uganda Episcopal Conference, a body that brings together Catholic Bishops in Uganda, has postponed this year’s Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Normally, thousands of Catholic pilgrims from around the world gather in Namugongo, Uganda to celebrate Martyrs Day, where more than 20 Catholics converts were executed over 124 years ago on the instructions of King Mwanga of Buganda.

Bishop Antony Zziwa, the chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, in an April 29, 2020 letter to his fellow Bishops, requested that this year’s celebrations be postponed owing to the threat of coronavirus that limits public gatherings.

Every year, June 3rd, when most of the martyrs were killed, is marked as a national holiday inUganda. It is also marked worldwide on the church calender as a day to honor the Uganda Martyrs. Following is a portrait of the 22 canonized Catholic martyrs.

The Remembrance Day for the deaths of the Catholics took a global dimension after the Vatican beatified the martyrs in 1920, and later canonized them in 1964.

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