450 Lira foot pilgrims set off for Namugongo ahead of Martyrs’ Day celebration

Lira foot pilgrims being flagged off at Lira Cathedral on May 17, 2022.  PHOTO/CHARITY AKULLO

What you need to know:

  • The foot pilgrims, drawn from 20 catholic parishes, embarked on the 339.2 kilometers long journey after receiving blessings from Lira Catholic Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok

More than 450 foot pilgrims from Lira diocese on Tuesday morning set off for Namugango ahead of this year’s Martyr celebrations. 

The foot pilgrims, drawn from 20 catholic parishes, embarked on the 339.2 kilometers long journey after receiving blessings from Lira Catholic Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok. 

Mr Francis Elia, the coordinator of pilgrims at Lira diocese appealed to all Christians to use this year’s Martyr celebrations to renew their faith in God.

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Ms Santa Okello, a foot pilgrim, said he treks to Namugongo Shrines annually to present some of her family problems to God. 

“Sickness is one of the problems that disturb us most. At times we spend so much money on medication without a cure. So, I am hopeful that through prayers, one day the Lord shall hear and grant our requests,” she said. 

Ms Grace Okello, another foot pilgrim, said: “Sometime back, I became very ill to the extent that I was operated on twice. So, whenever the foot pilgrims are trekking to Namugongo, I would be praying to God seeking his help to allow me to walk again.”  

The North Kyoga regional police spokesperson, Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, said the security team in the region will help ensure that the pilgrims travel safely. 

“We will be liaising with different commanders in different districts for purposes of seeing that they move peacefully and safely,” Mr Okema said.  

Martyrs' Day is a national annual public holiday in Uganda celebrated on June 3 in commemoration of 45 martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, who were killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, then King of Buganda between 1885 and 1887. 

This year’s celebrations will be animated by the Fort Portal Catholic Diocese under the theme “Baptized and sent to witness Christ with love and hope”.



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