I HAD A VISION OF A GREAT MULTITUDE, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.  They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.  “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:9,14b)

Memorial Mass today is for St. Charles Lwanga and Companions:  This group of twenty-two martyrs is lead by Charles Lwanga, a convert and catechist, who served the tribal King Mwanga in southern Uganda.  Having seen his predecessor, Joseph Mkasa, die a victim to Mwanga’s rage against Christians, Charles instructed his young catechumens at court in an atmosphere charged with danger.  In Mary of 1886 Mwanga ordered the execution of all the Christians among his young pages.  Charles secretly baptized four of his charges that night, and the next day they were marched to the place of execution.  On June 3, 1886, the feast of the Ascension, Charles was the first to be burned to death, calling out Katonda wange, “My God.” 

PRAYER;  O God of the martyrs, you called and strengthened Saint Charles and his companions to preach the Gospel by their steadfast fidelity to the commitment they had made in baptism, even unto death.  Through their example and their intercession, strengthen us in faithfulness to the way of life which we have undertaken, through Christ our Lord. Amen


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