Martyrs of Uganda (Charles Lwanga)

Feast Day: June 3
Canonized: October 18, 1964
Beatified: June 6, 1920
Venerated: February 29, 1920

Charles Lwanga was born in Uganda on the continent of Africa in the last half of the 19th century. He and other young men and boys were required to work for King Mwanga. King Mwanga was an evil man who treated all people harshly, especially the boys who worked for him.

Charles and his friends learned about Christianity from the Society of Missionaries of Africa who were working in Uganda. They learned about Jesus and asked to be baptized. They became followers of Jesus Christ. The missionaries also tried to keep the boys safe from the king.

One day, King Mwanga forced the missionaries to leave the country. So, Charles began teaching people about Jesus. There were only a a few hundred Christians in Uganda at that time. He also worked to protect his friends from the wicked king. The king became so angry that he ordered Charles and his friends put into prison and then killed in 1886. They were forced to walk 37 miles to the place where they were burned to death.

Charles and his friends are called martyrs because they died for their faith. Charles Lwanga and the other Ugandan martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964. St. Charles Lwanga is the patron saint of African youth.

Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 6, chapter 10