Today is the Uganda Martyrs’ day and because of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Namugongo will host special services for the day.
This year also marks a century since pilgrims started going to Namugongo in honor.
The Catholic Church beatified the 22 Catholic martyrs in 1920 and canonized them as Saints of the universal Church in 1964.
However unlike in the past where millions of pilgrims would trek Namugongo to celebrate this day, today the great hill remains calm and people will celebrate from their homes, through the media.
The day commemorates the 45 martyrs, 22 Catholic and 23 Anglicans, who were killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, then King of Buganda between 1885 and 1887 for their refusal to renounce Christianity.
Only 60 people are expected to attend celebrations at both the Church of Uganda Nakiyanja shrine and Catholic shrines as part of the measures to observe social distancing.
Francis Muwonge, the Administrative Secretary at the catholic Shrine says only 20 people will attend today’s celebrations which will take place at the minor basilica and not at the lake where it is usually held.
Mass that shall begin at 10am will be led by the archbishop of Kampala Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.