Charles Lwanga was a Muganda by tribe from Buddu county (Birinzi
village) but there are mixed findings about his parents. Some writers say,
his parents are unknown, others say Kaddu was his father, and yet others
that he was an adopted son of Kaddu.
Charles was chief of royal pages in the king Mwanga's palace. He was
baptised by Pere Giraud on 15-11-1885 (the day Joseph Mukasa
Balikuddembe was beheaded and burnt). After the death of Balikuddembe,
Charles became the head of Christians.
He was burnt to death in a slow painting fire under a Ggirikiti tree(
Erhrina Abyssinica) at Namugongo where the Martyrs Shrine is standing.
He died on Thursday 3rd June 1886 (on ascension day) at the age of about
As he was being burnt, Charles said to Ssenkoole, "It is as if you are
pouring water on me. Please repent and become a christian like me".
Lwanga is the patron of youth and Catholic action.
The altar in the Namugongo shrine was built on the spot where St.
Charles Lwanga was burnt.