Martyrdom of Blessed Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa commemorated in Uganda

Martyrdom of Blessed Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa commemorated in Uganda

The Catholic Church in Uganda today commemorated the martyrdom of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa at Paimol who were killed due to their work of spreading the gospel. The two were young catechists in their teens who were speared to death in 1918 at Paimol in Agago District, in northern Uganda. St John Paul beatified Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa II on the 20th October, 2002 in Rome.

Every year thousands of Christians flock on October 20th to Wi-Polo Martyrs shrine in Paimol Sub County to commemorate the lives of the martyrs who devoted their lives to the spreading of the Catholic faith and paid the price with their lives. Hundreds gathered this year at Paimol, including 190 pilgrims who walked on foot from Gulu City to Wi-Polo Martyrs Shrine at Paimol, covering a total of 164 kilometers. 

Due to the Corona pandemic, strict health safety standards (SOPs) were followed at the Paimol shrine. Mass was celebrated concurrently in 4 designated locations at the shrine reducing on the overcrowding. In his Homily, Rev. Fr. Opio Seraphim called upon Christians to emulate the two Paimol Martyrs who remained devoted their lives to the spreading of Christianity. “I thank all of you Christians who have managed to come here today for the Prayers. It is an imitation of the faith of Okelo and Irwa” Fr Opio noted.

The Rector of the Wi-Polo shrine Fr Joseph Okumu highlighted that this year’s celebration was held under the theme “I am going to teach Religion,” drawn from the life of the two Blessed Martyrs who were killed. Fr Okumu implored the congregation to embrace and grow the spirit of simplicity, humility, and of service to others just like the two martyrs of Paimol. He further urged the pilgrims to emulate the holiness of the martyrs, pray and propagate the faith faith in order to restore and consolidate moral fiber in their communities.

In 2018 before the outbreak of the Corona virus, Christians from Gulu Ecclesiastical Province and beyond thronged Paimol Shrine in Agago district Gulu Archdiocese to mark the Centenary (100 years) since the martyrdom of Blessed Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa.pandemic.

Susan one of the pilgrims at the occasion said she made a pilgrimage with special intentions of praying for total her healing, peace among her family members, and the end to the Covid-19 pandemic.