Uganda Martyrs' Shrine, Namugongo

St. Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe was the head of Catholic Church during the absence of Catholic Missionaries and a leader all Christians.

Balikuddembe was a Muganda by tribe from Mawookota county and of Giant Rat (Kayozi) clan -Cricetomys Emini Proparator. His father was Njuba-eseta and mother Kajwayo (Munyoro). He was a page and personal attendant on King Muteesa I and Majordomo under King Mwanga II.

He was baptized on 30th April 1882 by Pere Lourdel. Balikuddembe was the first Martyr to be killed on. He was beheaded and thrown onto a heap of burning firewood and burnt at Nakivubo, now St Balikuddembe Market (formerly known as Owino Market).

Balikuddembe is the patron of politicians and chiefs. Other names: Batuuka, Lukajuju.

Altar at Balikuddembe's death spot where mass is celebrated

Status: Saint
Age: about 25 - 26 years
Tribe: Muganda
Place of origin: Mawokota
Occupation: Page, Personal Attendant, Majordomo (Mwanga)
Baptism Date: 30/04/1882
Baptised By: Pere Lourdel
Martyrdom Date: 15/11/1885
Martyrdom Place: Nakivubo,
Manner of martyrdom: Beheaded and burnt
Virtues: Charity, Fortitude, Humility/Modesty, Kindness, Prudence
Patronages: Chiefs, Politicians
St. Joseph Balikuddembe, first Martyr of Uganda, who inspired and encouraged Nephytes, obtain for us a spirit of truth and justice.

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