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St. Charles Lwanga and Companions

The 22 Martyrs of Uganda
Died 1886-1887

Charles was one of 22 Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. Though he was baptized the night before being put to death, he became a moral leader. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as "the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda." He instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and he personally baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13-30, from the immoral acts and homosexual demands of the Babandan ruler, Mwanga.

Mwanga was a superstitious pagan king who originally was tolerant of Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was if these Christians would not bow to him, nor make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage, massacre, nor make war, what would happen if his whole kingdom converted to Catholicism?

When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful, one might even say, cheerful. He was to be executed by being burnt to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly so death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, "Kotanda! (O my God!)." He was burned to death by Mwanga's order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22,1964. We celebrate his memorial on June 3rd of the Roman Calendar. Charles is the Patron of the African Youth of Catholic Action.




  St. Nonna
St. Margaret Clitherow
St. Helena
St. Fabiola
Bl. Antonia Mesina
St. Anne Lyne
St. Charles Lwanga
St. Isidore the Farmer
St. Joseph Moscati
St. Thomas More
Ven. Matthew Talbot
Bl. Marcel Callo
Bl. Isidore Bakanja

Bl. Marguerite Bays
Bl. Teresa Bracco
Bl. Luigi Quattrocchi
Bl. Maria Corsini

Bl. Antonia Mesina
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
Bl. Nikolaus Gross
Bl. Bartholomew Longo
Bl. Ceferino Malla
Bl. Gianna Beretta Molla
Bl. Elizabeth Canori Mora
Saint Manuel Moralez
St. Salvador Lara Puente
St. David Roldán-Lara
Bl. Carlos Santiago
Bl. Laura Vicuna
Bl. Artemide Zatti