St Charles Lwanga and Companions

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This group of 22 Ugandans who died for their faith in 1885-87, includes Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mukasa, Judge Matthias Murumba and Andrew Kagwa, a leading catechist.

The tyrannical King Mwanga ordered the persecutions. He began by killing an Anglican missionary, Bishop James Hannington, and several Christian converts in his court. When Charles Lwanga and several others protested, Mwanga ordered them to be dismembered and burnt alive.

Many Christians of all denominations were killed before Mwanga was overthrown in 1888.

The martyrs, lead by Charles Lwanga are reputed to have sung hymns as they perished. They were all canonised on October 18 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

They are the Protomartyrs of Sub Saharan Africa. Charles Lwanga is the patron of African young people.