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Saint Carl Lwanga
Carl Lwanga and his companions
Born 1860 or 1865, Buganda, Uganda
Died June 3, 1886, Namugongo, Uganda
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 1920 by Pope Benedict XV
Canonized October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI
Major shrine Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs, Namugongo
Feast June 3
Patronage African Catholic Youth Action, converts, torture victims

Carl Lwanga (also known as Charles Lwanga or Karoli Lwanga) (1860[1][2] or 1865–June 3, 1886) was a Ugandan Catholic catechist martyred for his faith and revered as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He was born in the kingdom of Buganda in the southern part of modern Uganda, and served as a page in the court of King Mwanga II.

King Mwanga began to insist Christian converts abandon their new faith, and executed many Anglicans and Roman Catholics between 1885 and 1887; many of them were officials in the court of the king or otherwise very close to him, including Lwanga. After a massacre of Anglicans in 1885 the court's resident Catholic priest, Joseph Mukasa, reproached the king for the deed. Mwanga had Mukasa beheaded and arrested all of his followers. Lwanga took up Mukasa's duties, and secretly baptized those of his pupils who had only been catechumens on May 26, 1886. Carl Lwanga and 11 other Catholics were burnt alive on June 3 (another Catholic, Mbaga Tuzinde, was clubbed to death for refusing to renounce Christianity, and his body was thrown into the furnace to be burned along with Lwanga and 11 others[3]). One of the reported reasons the ire of the king was particularly inflamed against the Christians was because they refused to accede to demands to participate in homosexual acts with him.[4] Carl Lwanga, in particular, protected the pages from King Mwanga's sexual advances.[5]

Carl Lwanga and his companions in death were canonized in 1964 by Pope Paul VI.[6] Although the Anglicans were not canonized, they were called "worthy of mention" for enduring "death for the name of Christ"[7].


  1. ^ Charles Lwanga's profile from Retrieved on 2008-08-17.
  2. ^ Charles Lwanga's profile from Dictionary of African Christian Biography. Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  3. ^ Mbaga Tuzinde's profile from Retrieved on 2008-08-17.
  4. ^ Breviarium Romanum, Office of Ss. Matthias Murumba, Charles Lwanga and Companions, Lesson v.
  5. ^ Dictionary of African Christian Biography: Charles Lwanga
  6. ^ "Charles Lwanga". Patron Saints Index. Retrieved 2007-12-04.  
  7. ^ Vatican Archive

External links



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