Uganda Martyrs' Shrine, Namugongo

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 25.

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.

Status: Saint
Age: About 25 years
Tribe: Muganda
Place of origin: Buddu, probably
Occupation: Head Page, Audience Hall
Baptism Date: 15/11/1885
Baptised By: Pere Giraud
Martyrdom Date: 03/06/1886
Martyrdom Place: Namugongo, where basilica is
Manner of martyrdom: Burnt over slow fire
Virtues: Chastity, Fortitude, Humility/Modesty, Kindness, Patience, Prudence
Patronages: Catholic Action, Youth
St. Charles Lwanga, patron of the Youth and Catholic Action, obtain for us a firm and zealous faith.

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