Lira foot pilgrims on the trek to Namugongo ahead of Martyrs Day celebration
Christians of Lira started their pilgrimage to Uganda Martyrs’ shrine Namugongo where Christians allover celebrate in remembrance, the brutal killings that occurred following the protests that occurred under the authoritarian rule of Kabaka Mwanga II when he tried to control christianity.
They started their journey three days back, with the leadership of Reverand Father Owani, Reverand Father Peter Paul Oketa and Sister Kolumba Odokobel .
Father Owani says ,”We expect the journey to take us a fortnight to reach Namugongo”.He also says that they set off with 467 people but along the way people keep joining in and as of now, they’re about 500. And regarding security,he says they are still in the safe hands of the Lord. He says, ‘every where we reach we are secured’.
The pilgrims occasionally have stopovers to refresh,rest and pray, before they set off again Their first stopover was at Loro,then Dima, Bweyale where they slept, then Kiryandongo before reaching Kigumba on Friday evening.
Sometimes along the way, they come across a few good Samaritans, who are willing to offer them something to eat while others are not willing to give a hand, however despite all the challenges encountered,they are not about to give up until they reach their destination.
Fort portral Diocese is in charge of preparations at the Namugongo Basilica,under the theme; BAPTISED AND SENT TO WITNESS CHRIST WITH LOVE AND HOPE”.And as the pilgrims have different expectations, they meditate on that and pray in hope of meeting them. To some,it is healing,others,God’s protection while to others, blessings and much more.
The Martyrs were a group of 45 converts to Christianity in Uganda, of which 22 were Catholics and 23 Anglicans that were percecuted under the authoritarian rule of Kabaka Mwanga II between 1885 and 1887.