St Charles Lwanga
He was a 25 year old muganda and an exceptional leader of the Christians. Lwanga is admired for his untouched virtue of chastity. During the persecution, he displayed unshakable faith and bravery at which the Christian martyrdom of the others hinged. To punish him he was separated from the group and burnt in a slow fire from feet to head at Namugongo – Busaale, the site at which the Namugongo Basilica stands. It was Thursday 3rd June 1886 towards noon. He died praying for the conversion of the executioners and the king. St Charles Lwanga is a patron of African youth and catholic apostolic action.
He was the youngest of all the catholic martyrs who died at the age of 14. He served as a page in the Kings private apartment/ He was a very good boy in all aspects, smart, always jolly, good at sports mainly swimming and wrestling. He was also good at music, particularly playing Xylophone. All this made him popular amongst his companions. The King used to force him to practice blandishments but due to the help of mainly Charles Lwanga, the boy always stood firm. When the Christian persecution broke out, the night before the arrest Kizito was baptized by Charles Lwanga in case of emergency and given the name John baptised.He died on Thursday June 3rd 1886 at Namugongo. He is patron of children particularly those below the age of fifteen.
ST GYAVIIRA MAYANJA MUSOKE
Gyavira was a messenger who was quick, accurate, trustworthy and hated backbiting. His father was a famous priest of the traditional gods. Mayanja gave this name to his son whom he was preparing to take over his office, but when he was taken to the palace to be a page, he converted to Catholicism and burnt up all witchcraft chams. He choose the Christian religion never turning back to the point of dying for it on June 3rd 1886 at the age of seventeen. Gyavira is the patron of traffic communication and those troubled by witchcraft.
ST ADOLPHUS MUKASA LUDIGO
St Adolphus Mukasa Ludigo was a munyoro by tribe from Mwenge – Toro. His parents are unknown because he was captured in the inter-kingdom wars and brought to the palace as a captive. He was in charge of the King’s gardens where the pages were supposed to work. He served as a page of the audience hall of king Muteesa 1 and Mwanga II. He anticipated his arrest and death. He was very happy and put on his best as if preparing for a party. He was burnt to death at Namugongo on June 3rd 1886 at the age of twenty four. He is a patron of farmers, herdsmen and hunters.
ST MUKASA KIRIWAWANVU
He was a giant of exceptional strength and height who served as a page. His father was very good wrestler, he wrestled with king Muteesa in a friendly contest. In recognition of his power the king gave him a musoga girl for a wife. He was in charge of serving food to the visitors and his fellow pages. Mukasa is the only martyr who received the Baptism of blood. He is a patron of Hotels, Bars, and restaurants.
ST AMBROSE KIBUUKA KATIKAMU
His father Kisuule was an official King’s drummer of Mujaguzo (the royal drum). His father had many wives, with about 30 children, almost all of them girls. Kibuuka was taken to the palace to be a page at sixteen years of age. He was social, talented in games, music and always cheerful and charitable. He would work on and on hardly showing no tiredness. When the Christians were arrested he cried. Kigongo went to inform his parents of the arrest. He was burnt to death at Namugongo on June 3rd 1886. He is a patron of catholic societies and youth movement such as scouts, young Christian workers, xaverians etc
ST ACHILLES KIWANUKA
He was born in Mityana, Ssingo County. His father was a deputy county chief for a long time due to efficiency. His son soon became famous like his father and at the age of 12, he was selected to serve the king. He soon converted to Catholicism and destroyed the witchcraft he had carried to protect himself but the parents and relatives disowned him. The boy was determined to follow Christ. Kiwanuka was interested in learning how to read and write. He was a good singer but sometimes he served as a messenger. He died at Namugongo on June 3rd 1886 at the age of seventeen. He is a patron of Journalists, press, writers, painters and Artists.
ST BRUNO SSERUNKUUMA
Before he took up the catholic faith, Sserunkuma was violent, cruel, imprudent, drunkard and led a loose life. He strove bravely to master his temper and control on his passions. The king gave him two girls for wives in appreciation for his good work. But his fellow Catholics pointed out to him that the new religion they had embraced didn’t allow more than one wife. He repented and spent more time in prayer, penance and did a lot of works of mercy on his way to Namugongo. His brother gave him a beer but remembering the thirst of Christ on the cross, he refused it he constantly and bravely encouraged others not to give up. He died on June 3rd 1886. He is a patron of tempted to excessive drinking, lust and those not properly married in church.
ST ANATOOLI KIRIGGWAJJO
He was a Munyoro from Kyaka in Tooro who was a skilled hunter and a good herdsman. He used his talent whenever he had a chance. He served in the inner palace and the king who loved him promoted him to a post of catering for the queens (wives of the king) rooms and commodities from outside. Anatooli found out that the post will destroy his beloved virtue of chastity. He just dared to decline the post though he was sure that it would result into the loss of life. But this time though the king got annoyed he did not order his death.
When Christian’s persecution began the king singled him out and said this munyoro page refused the post I gave him, thus despising me. He was burnt to death on June 3rd 1886.He is the patron of hunters and Herdsmen.
ST JAMES BUUZABALYAWO KALUMBA SSEBAYIGE
His eldest sister, Tagusenda had been presented by their father to Kabaka Muteesa who had one child by her, Princess Namukaabya, Buusabalyawo was brought up in the household of his royal niece and from there naturally entered the Kabaka;s service first as a page and later as a bandsman and guard. As a bandsman he came under the command of Andrew Kaggwa who taught him to play the big drum and also instructed him in the catholic faith. He became a catholic mainly after admiring the celibacy of Catholics. He was one of the able leaders of the Kings band. On May 25,1886 when the king broke into rage and tortured Denis Ssebugwawo , he proceeded to Buuzalyawo’s place, he ordered him to be arrested for being a Christian. He was burnt to death on June 3rd 1886 at the age of Twenty six. He is a patron of merchants and cooperatives.
ST LUKE BAANABAKINTU
He picked up skills of black smith profession and was in charge of the fishermen on Lake Wamala and wood cutters. Luke was a cheerful, alert and respectful person. The Christians of Mityana used to send him on foot to Kampala a distance of forty miles for the priests. He would learn the Sunday sermons by heart to be narrated to Mathia Mulumba, who would repeat them to the Sunday congregation there. He died at Namugongo on June 3rd 1886 at the age of thirty. Luuke Banaanabakintu is the patron of fishermen, sailors, mechanics, students and blacksmiths.
ST MUGAAGGA LUBOWA
His mother gave her son the name “Mugagga” expecting him to a mass some fortune in future. He was a page in the private section of the palace. He had to fight hard against blandishments and the threats of the king for his virtue of chastity. He was kind, intelligent, cooperative, trustworthy and always ready to help others but not caring for himself. He was strong in body and was determined in faith. He was interested in games, handcraft etc. He died at Namugongo on June 3rd 1886 at the age of sixteen. He is a patron of clubs, tailors, community development, culture and home craft.
ST MBAGA TUSINDE
The chief executioner Mukajanga was his uncle who selected him to become a page at the palace where he served in the audience Hall in charge of catering for the visitors. Mbaga became interested in the Catholic religion due to the good examples of Catholic pages. At Namugongo, Mbaga spent a week with his relatives who tried discouraging him from Catholicism the last time but in vain. He was hit on the head and his body thrown on the pyre and he died on the 3rd June 1886. St Mbagga is the patron of vocations mainly the seminarians, aspirants poostulants and Novias.
ST PONSINO NGONDWE
He was part of the king’s militia and was good at playing instruments at parades. Shortly before the persecution the king ordered a cattle levy. One of the chief executioners, (Mukajanga) herdsman stole his masters’ cow and falsely accused Ngondwe when the Christians persecution broke out the King remembered Ponsian and ordered him to be taken to Namugongo to be burnt to death. Mukajanga took up his spear and drove it into Ngondwe several times until he died on June 3rd 1886 aged thirty five. He is a patron of soldiers, policemen and militia.
ST JOHNMARY KIWANUKA MUZEEYI
His father had many wives and about 100 children. He was exceptional intelligent and it took him only three days to learn all the prayers and the whole catechism that took the average learner four months. He had exceptional medicines of various diseases. Muzeeyi was arrested and beheaded and his body thrown into a swamp on January 27th 1887 at the age of thirty five. He is one of the martyrs who died last for Christ
ST MATHIAS MULUMBA.
He is a musoga from Bunya Mulumba and because of his faithfulness and justice was soon promoted to various posts. He had many wives but fought hard to remain with one as his legal wife. Mulumba was faithful, Courageous, penitent and a powerful leader. He died the most brutal and lingering death at old Kampala from May 27th to 30th 1886. His limbs were cut off first, strips of flesh cut from his back and he remained in that condition without a complaint for three days, playing for his country and executioners. He was about 50 years of age. He was the ideal chief and follower of Christ, meek and humble. St Mulumba is the patron of chiefs and families.
ST GONZAGA GONZA
Gonzaga was a musoga of Zibondo, Bulamogi family. He was captured by Kasoma Bulusi who treated him as his own son. Gonzaga behaved well and was obedient, trustworthy, intelligent and hardworking. When king Muteesa 1 wanted good boys for his service, Gonzaga was selected for the job at the age of twelve. He was a zealous and pious Catholic. One of the princesses fell in love with Namulabira a close friend of Gonzaga who introduced him and led to his conversion to Catholicism. However Namurabira was not interested so in revenge the princess falsely accused him of falling in love with Nankya one of the kings wives. Namulabira was put into prison. Gonzaga offered to be imprisoned in his place which was permitted Gonzaga was arrested at Munyonyo and spent the night in chains. The executioner failed to remove them, but Gonzaga was determined to drag the chains fastening his bleeding legs to Namugongo. On the way he collapsed and was speared to death by Mukajanga and died on May 27th 1886 at the age of twenty four. St Gonzaga is the patron of prisoners, travelers, the ill-treated and those in trouble.
ST NOA MAWAGALI
Due to his skills in pottery, trustworthiness, proper arrangement and cooperation, he was popular but despite all that Mawagali remained poor. But when he became a Christian he put his confidence and trust in God. Very early on 31st May 1886 in Mityana, Noa was speared to death. He was afterwards tied to a fig tree where dogs bit him up and finally his wounded body was thrown into the road junction to frighten the Christians. He is the patron of the poor, the technicians and the artists.
ST JOSEPH MUKASA BALIKUDDEMBE
Balikuddembe was a muganda but the mother was a mutooro. He was the head of the Catholics during the time missionaries were forced out of Uganda between November 12th 1882 and July 12th 1885. At that time, the church was boosted, more than when the missionaries were there. At one occasion a cobra entered the Kings house and after failing to find a stick, Mukasa rushed and strangled it with his bare hands. This impressed the king who gave liberty to Christians to practice their religion, through that was not to be. Balikuddembe was killed and his body burnt on Sunday November 15th 1885 at the age of thirty five. He was the first Ugandan catholic martyrs. Balikuddembe is a patron of politicians and chiefs.
ST ANDREW KAGGWA
Kaggwa was a munyoro named Kaahwa but on arrival among the Baganda he changed it to Kaggwa to fit the similar Kiganda name. He was smart, clever obedient and a skilled carpenter. He converted to Catholicism mainly because the Catholics missionaries had a sacrifice of celibacy to their God. He therefore endeavored to become a zealous and pious catholic. He had Christian matrimony with Claire Nakazibwe. At some point, Arabs stole some property of the missionaries who not knowing the truth, mistook Audrea and Mukasa to have done it since they frequented the parish. At this some of their friends advised them to abandon the religion of the white man. Andrew died a martyr at the age of thirty on Wednesday May 26th 1886. His hand were chopped to pieces at Munyonyo. Andrew is the patron of teachers, catechist and families.
ST ATHANASIUS BAZZEKUKETTA
He was a clean, orderly, faithful and an obedient boy who was selected to be in charge of the King’s ceremonial robes and ornaments. He was also in charge of the Kings Treasury and ivory, though he was still a boy. He was arrested with his fellow Christians on 26th May 1886. He was eager and happy to die for Christ. The next morning on the way to Namugongo, Mukajanga asked who would like to be killed as your Christian leader? Athanasius answered here i am, why delay me as if death cannot be met here and take me all the way to Namugongo. He was then speared to death at Nakivubo on May 27th 1886 aged twenty. He is the patron of those in charge of finance, treasury and banks.
ST DENIS SSEBUGWAWO.
He was a muganda whose mother was a musoga. He was talented and devoted musician with a melodious voice. Denis fought hard at the shameful sexual plays the king wanted to have with him (Homosexual). This quickened his martyrdom indeed he was the first victim of the kings rage in the evening of 25th May 1886, who was severely scourged by king Mwanga himself. He was killed the following morning at Munyonyo at the age of sixteen. Denis was zealous for Christian faith and renowned for his modesty. He is the patron o singers, musicians and choirs.