50th anniversary of canonization of Uganda Martyrs brings record visitor numbers to Uganda

PILGRIMS FLOCK TO UGANDA AS MARTYRS’ DAY LOOMS LARGE

(Posted 29th May 2014)

The brutal murder of 45 Christians, Catholics and Anglicans alike, set the stage for the canonization in 1964 of the 22 Catholic victims of Kabaka Mwanga II who had them killed between November 1885 and January 1887 in the most cruel ways, including burning several of them to death in open fire pits.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the canonization and record crowds are expected in the country, even though the much hoped for visit by the Pope is not taking place on this occasion.

Many pilgrims are walking from across Eastern Africa towards the Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, located on the outskirts of the capital Kampala while Christians from around the world are flying into Uganda to commemorate the canonization and be part of a very special service which is organized on the 03rd of June, a national holiday in Uganda for that matter and a major event too in the global Catholic calendar.

The Uganda Tourism Board has been promoting religious ‘pilgrimage’ tourism to Uganda as a niche activity and the launch of the Martyrs Trail in 2007 has allowed the faithful to also see other sites, including where Bishop Hannington was murdered on Mwanga’s orders and where his body was kept before finding a permanent resting place at the Namirembe Cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Church in Uganda.

For more information click on the following link of the Uganda Tourism Board: http://www.visituganda.com/see-and-do/events-and-exhibitions/?event=Uganda%20Martyrs%20Day,%20Namugongo or else visit www.ugandamartyrs.org

Meanwhile was it also learned that both Catholic and Anglican Church leaders in Uganda have announced plans to build a Uganda Martyrs Museum in Namugongo on the land of the Martyrs Shrine, when they visited Namugongo ahead of the celebrations next Tuesday to inspect the final stages of preparations.

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