Saints Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs

2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalm 123(124):2-5,7-8; Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes speak of what we need to do to enter the kingdom of heaven - they are quite distinct from Luke's beatitudes which focus on what the poor, hungry and despised need. A tightly constructed form, the beatitudes were most unlikely to have been spoken in this style by Jesus. It seems probable that the Autor had access to a source known as 'The Sayings' and picked and used the ones needed for his purposes. They are mentioned by other early Christian writers but have disappeared over time.

Many Christians, Catholic and Protestant, were killed by the Ugandan king Mwanga. Some of them were servants in the king’s palace or even his personal attendants. Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions (the youngest, Kizito, was only 13) were executed for being Christians, for rebuking the king for his debauchery and for murdering an Anglican missionary, for “praying from a book,” and for refusing to allow themselves to be ritually sodomised by the king. They died between 1885 and 1887. Most of them were burned alive in a group after being tortured.
Within a year of their deaths, the number of catechumens in the country quadrupled. St Charles Lwanga is the patron of Catholic Action and of black African youth, and the Ugandan martyrs’ feast day is a public holiday in Uganda.
Posted in Daily Reflection.