1886 - The King Seperates the Christians and Sentences them to Death- 1886

The King Seperates the Christians and Sentences them to Death- 1886

In Munyonyo, all of the King’s Christian pageboys were captured and sentenced to death at Namugongo (the Kingdom’s designated place for execution). The Christian prisoners were grievously bound to each other, with sticks and ropes and were made to walk their life’s final journey escorted by merciless soldiers; theirs was a brutal and soul-inspiring last pilgrimage. On the way to Namugongo, at a lonely spot by the side of a road in Kyamula, Pontiano was martyred – he was the third Ugandan whose love of Christ outshone his desire for life itself. That same day in Munyonyo, servant of God, Fr. Symeon Lourdel (Mapeera) was desperately seeking an audience with the Kabaka (King0) Mwanga II in order to intervene for condemned Christians. However, he was not permitted to see King.

Having intuited the grave and imminent danger which was about to befall Uganda’s Christian community, as night fell on 25 May 1886, Charles Lwanga (the leader of Uganda’s Christian community) secretly baptised four catechumens at Munyonyo and these were St. Kizito, St. Mbaga, St. Gyavira and St. Muggaga

The very next morning, King Mwanga II precipitated a showdown in May by ordering all the Christian converts to choose between their new faith, and complete obedience to his orders. King Mwanga brought his whole court before him and separated the Christians from the rest; he asked, “Those who do not pray stand by me, those who do pray stand over there”. Those unwilling to renounce their new faith already knew they would be subject to death. He proceeded to ask the fifteen boys and young men standing apart whether they were Christian and, if they were, whether they intended to remain so. Courageously, the neophytes chose their faith, they answered “Yes” with strength and courage and instantly, Mwanga condemned them all to death. After a short imprisonment, the future martyrs were subsequently bound in ropes, were walked, staggered and were often dragged along over a number of days until they finally reached the martyrdom site in Namugongo on 3 June 1886. Here, they where they were mercilessly killed for choosing Christianity over their King`s wishes.

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