The Uganda Martyrs, were a group of Christians (Anglicans and Roman Catholics) who were murdered by Mwanga II, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda seeking to eradicate foreign influence in the Buganda Kingdom.
Every year, on June 3rd, christians trek to Namugongo from all over the world to attend the celebrations comemorating the uganda martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our Lord Jesus.
There are 24 Catholic Uganda Martyrs. The 22 martyrs were killed between 1885 and 1887 by Kabaka (King) Mwanga of Buganda in the South of Uganda; 13 of the martyrs were burnt to death at Namugongo. The twenty-two martyrs were beatified by Pope Benedict XV on 6th June 1920 and canonized by Pope Paul VI on 18th October 1964. The other 2 martyrs were speared to death in Paimol, Gulu in the North of Uganda in October 1918. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on 20th October 2002.
There are also Anglican martyrs that were killed by King Mwanga between 1885 and 1887 together with the Catholic martyrs. While paying tribute to the 22 Catholic martyrs Pope Paul IV also paid tribute to the Anglican martyrs in his homily at the canonisation. “And we do not wish to forget”, he said ,”the others who, belonging to the Anglican confession, met death for the name of Christ.”
All these martyrs are honoured on 3rd June every year.