NAMUGONGO- In a show of ecumenical solidarity, Pope Francis yesterday visited the Anglican Martyrs Shrine at Namugongo, where he unveiled and blessed the new museum built in honour of the 23 Anglican Martyrs, who were executed by the King of Buganda Kabaka Mwanga in the 19th Century.
The Pope arrived at exactly 8:32am in his open-sided Popemobile and was received by the faithful who had gathered at the venue as early as 6am.
Pope Francis was received outside the Anglican Museum by Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and retired Anglican Archbishop Dr Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo.
Outside the museum, Pope Francis unveiled a memorial plaque for the shrine, now marked as a museum after renovation.
He was later taken on a guided tour of the inside. Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga, in whose ecclesiastical province the Pontiff was hosted, was present.
Inside the museum premises at the Anglican Church, whose renovation is now complete, stand impressions of artistic reenactment of the torture and execution of the martyrs. The Pope knelt down and said a short meditative prayer.
He blessed the shrine, exchanged a few pleasantries, and later visited the first Anglican Church in the area, which is still housed within the museum. He was afterwards ushered out to bless the faithful gathered in the yard.
No speeches were planned for this occasion. The Pontiff, flanked by Archbishop Ntagali, blessed the faithful with a short prayer, waved to them and left for the Catholic Shrine a short distance away.