What Pilgrims should expect on visiting The Uganda Martyrs Shrine/Basilica
arriving at the Uganda Martyrs' Shrine Namugongo, pilgrims sign the
visitors/pilgrims book where they give their comments about Namugongo
and the Martyrs in general.
After this exercise, the pilgrims guides move the
pilgrims around Namugongo to visit among other things; The Shrine,
Uganda Martyrs' Lake, Relics, Marian Grotto and the compound that
accommodates millions of people on Martyrs Day, June 3.
Pilgrims are then told the story of the Martyrs, i.e
causes, places and dates of martyrdom, their beatification,
canonization and patronages among other things.
After the tour, pilgrims are left free to have prayers
from the Shrine, Marian Grotto, fetch water from the Martyrs' Lake and
soon they will have chance to bathe that water (after the construction
of the pilgrims hostel/guest house).
On special orders,
pilgrims are taken to other places outside Namugongo where Martyrs were
killed. Here they will see the monuments built at exact spots where
such Martyrs were killed and probably have their prayers/intentions
mentioned from such places.
Martyrs killed outside Namugongo include; Joseph Mukasa
Balikuddembe and Atthanasius Bazzekuketta, killed in Kampala City (St.
Balikuddembe Market), Denis Ssebuggwaawo and Andrew Kaggwa, killed at
Munyonyo, Pontian Ngondwe killed at Kyamula (Ttakajjunge), Matthias
Kalemba Mulumba killed at Old Kampala, Noe Mawaggali killed at
Kiyinda-Mityana, Gonzaga Gonza killed at Kamuli-Lubaawo and lastly John
Mary Muzeeyi killed at Mmengo-Kisenyi.
Each of these has a Church or monument built at the spot he was killed.
Pilgrims are also taken to other places relevant to the
Catholic Church like; Kigungu, a landing site on Lake Victoria where
Pere Laurdel commonly known as Mapeera in Uganda and Brother Amans
landed with the Holy Book before penetrating Uganda.
Other places include; Kasubi-Nabulagala, the first Catholic seat in
Uganda. A big Parish Church now stands on this hill.
After all the tours and stories have been made and told
respectively, pilgrims are taken to the souvenir shop where photos,
paintings, books and other articles of Uganda Martyrs are sold. Also
pilgrimage certificates are got from this shop.
Namugongo receives an average of 100 pilgrims a day that come to
venerate the Uganda Martyrs.
The Shrine Rector and Coordinator are embarking on
mobilizing funds to put in place a hostel/guest house so pilgrims
willing to spend a night(s) at this holy site can freely and cheaply do