The Martyrs were people of values with a cause. They were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887 for their Christian faith. No one knew that the people were seeds of Jesus Christ. By killing them, they were being planted. Saint Kizito, the patronage saint of all children, was just 14 years when he was killed! What a brave youngster! Indeed, many of the Saints were below the age of 20 years. But this has not stopped the global reverence of Uganda martyrs. It is a story of triumph of good over evil. Instead of being silenced, the Martyrs became so popular in death than they were in life. That is exactly what happens when you plant a seed. You give the seed a new start. Unlike normal seeds, the Uganda Martyrs seed continues to grow and grow, touching so many people and lives near and afar.
I am proud to say I have seen the seed grow. Namugongo is a spectacle. It is a miracle in our lifetime. It is indeed a living seed planted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. You see people reach at Namungongo, bend and kiss on the soil. Their faces light up. My mother, Nseka Adyeeri has made it a mandatory in her annual calendar to be at Namugongo every 3rd of June. Some events never leave my memory. While a small boy in the early 1990’s, we would walk from our Parish at Munteme village to Uganda Martyrs Shrine Pilgrimage Church for Munteme Parish located at Kibararu Catholic Church, about seven (7) kilometers.
Turn to your neighbor and ask them: what is your cause? How is your cause impacting on the people around you – family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ and the public. What is your cause and what values do you espouse to help realize your cause? The Martyrs were clear in thought and action. They did not just recite the Creed. They believed in the Creed. And it is that belief that has given all of us the understanding that Seeds of Jesus Christ when cut, grow instead. The martyrs were killed in the flesh. But they are alive and present in spirit.
We are crying about poverty in this country but the best wealth is solidarity and togetherness demonstrated by the Holy martyrs of Uganda when they chose to say no to the king even if they knew that would cost them their life. To be rich and develop Uganda, we ought to have a cause.
We have to invest in being courageous and we have to agree to make loses if we have to make gains that will last forever. The millions of people coming to Namugongo armed with faith are also millions of dollars sponsoring Uganda’s economy. Faith is the basis for consistent investment. We must believe in what we do.
Wish you a Happy Martyrs Day.
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, plants the seed of transformation. Visit www.mustaphamugisa.com for practical ways to improve.