Uganda Martyrs' Shrine, Namugongo

The Sanctifying Office Committee of Kampala Archdiocese has proposed the following annual calendar of pilgrimages to Uganda Martyrs' Shrine, Namugongo.

Month Day Target Group
January Holy Family Sunday Families, Catholic Charismatic Renewal
February Sunday Close to the 2nd February The Religious
  Sunday close to the 11th February The Sick
March Sunday close to 8th March Catholic Women's Guild
  Last Sunday of March Professionals and Civil servants
April First Sunday of April Teachers
May May 26th Catechists
June June 3rd All (National and International pilgramge)
July First Sunday of July Transporters
  3rd Sunday in July Children – Bannakizito
August First Sunday of August Seminarians, Novices, Postulants and Aspirants
  Last Sunday of August Business Community
September Second Sunday of September Youth
October First Sunday of October Legionaries
November Last Sunday of November Catholic Men's Guild – St. Balikuddembe
December 1st December Medical Personnel and AIDS victims
  Second Sunday of December Security Personnel – St. Bruno Sserunkuuma
  15th December Priests

The Programme to be followed for the pilgrimages

10:00 am Holy Mass
12:00 pm Speeches
1:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm A skit on the theme of the Pilgrimage
2:30 pm A reflection on a given topic and questions from the audience. Concluding Prayer and Blessing
4:00 pm March past followed by Departure

The Sanctifying Office Committee has also organized 3 annual Novenas to the Uganda Martyrs starting with 2008 as follows:

  1. First Novena: In May – June,
  2. Second Novena: In November,
  3. Third Novena: In January.

What Pilgrims should expect on visiting The Uganda Martyrs Shrine/Basilica

On 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 so.

If you have any comments about this site, please contact us Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo, Kampala Archdiocese, Uganda