The martyrs shrine at namugongo
Unlike their Anglican brethren who only admire and are inspired by the deep faith and steadfast Christian commitment of the Uganda Martyrs, Roman Catholics believe that the martyrs, by virtue of their sainthood, have intercessory powers. This means that you can pray through them and get what you want, or be delivered from a difficult case or situation.
In fact, before they were canonised by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964, the 22 Catholic Martyrs of Uganda reportedly healed two Catholic religious sisters, the Rev. Sr. Richildis Buck and Sr. Mary Aloyse Cribelt of the institute of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (White Sisters), who were suffering from the deadly bubonic plague.
Although all the Uganda Martyrs are believed to have intercessory powers, each martyr has an area of specialisation, or say, cases which they handle best.
In his book, The Uganda Martyrs Are Our Light, Bro. Tarcis Nsobya lists the Uganda Martyrs, their respective patronage and cases of intercession.
St Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe
He was the king's majordomo, a great leader who headed the Catholic Church in Uganda during the absence of the missionaries. He is the patron of politicians and traditional leaders.
St Charles Lwanga
He was an exceptional leader, a great wrestler. He was the pillar of all the Christian Martyrs both Catholic and Protestants serving in the palace as pages. He is the patron of African youths and Catholic action.
St Luke Baanabakintu
He was a very clever and respectful young man. He is the patron of fishermen, sailors, mechanics, students and blacksmiths.
Aged 14, Kizito was the youngest of the Catholic Martyrs. He was a jolly boy, smart, respectful, good at music and sports, mainly swimming. He is the patron of children.
St. Dennis Sebuggwawo
He was a page in King Mwanga's palace who fought hard against the shameful sexual activities he was being seduced to. He is the patron of singers, musicians and choirs.
St. James Buuzabalyawo Ssebayigga
He became Catholic mainly after admiring the celibacy of the Catholic Missionaries and the remarkable behaviour of the Catholics. He is the patron of merchants and co-operatives.
St. Adolf Mukasa Ludigo
He hailed from Tooro. Due to his behaviour, personality and ability, he was put in charge of the king's gardens. He is the patron of farmers and herdsmen.
St. Mathias Kalemba Mulumba
He hailed from Busoga. He was a brave intelligent and just man. He is the patron of chiefs and families.
St. Andrew Kaggwa
He hailed from Bunyoro. He was a smart, clever, obedient and band-master general, a catechist and exemplary married man. During the absence of missionaries, his home was turned into a prayer centre. He is the patron of teachers, catechists and families.
St. Bruno Sserunkuuma
Before embracing Christianity, Sserunkuuma was violent, cruel, loose-living, imprudent and a drunkard. When he converted, he strove manfully to master his temper and to control his passions. He is the patron of those tempted into over-drinking, violence, lust of flesh and those in unlawful marriage.
He was captured by the Baganda raiders in Bunyoro and taken by one Kisomose who adopted him. Because of his obedience, cleverness, smartness and good manners, Kisomose selected him from among his children to go and serve the king. He is the patron of hunters and herdsmen.
St. John Mary Muzeeyi
He hailed from Minziiro at Uganda's border with Tanzania. Through his own initiative, Muzeeyi made religious vows, which he observed strictly. He is the patron of the religious, doctors, nurses, hospitals and learners.
St. Mugagga Lubowa
The name Mugagga was given to him by his mother in anticipation of his son becoming a rich man in the future. He is the patron of clubs and community development societies.
St. Pontian Ngondwe
He was the assistant band-master general. He served as a page of King Muteesa 1 and later of King Mwanga II, in whose militia he served as a soldier. He was an active and zealous Catholic who tried to school himself in Christian virtues. He is the patron of soldiers, policemen and the militia.
St. Mbaaga Tuzinde
He was converted to Catholicism by his leader Charles Lwanga. Despite the promises and the tortures for a whole week, day and night, Mbaaga's relatives and friends failed to make him deny his religion. He is the patron of priestly and religious vocations (seminarians, religious aspirants, postulants and novices).
His main job was running the Kabaka's errands. He was very quick, accurate, and trustworthy and hated backbiting. He is the patron of traffic, communications and those troubled by witchcraft.
St. Ambrose Kibuuka
He was active, social, talented in games, music and always cheerful and charitable. On embracing Christianity, Kibuuka abandoned practising witchcraft and burnt all items connected with it. He is the Ppatron of societies and youth movements such as scouts and Xaverians.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka
He worked in the audience hall of the king's court. On embracing Catholicism, Kiwanuka abandoned witchcraft practices and was expelled from the clan. He is the patron of Journalists, the press, writers, printers and artists.
St. Mukasa Kiriwawanvu
He was extra-ordinarily tall and very strong. He is the patron of the hotels, bars and restaurants.
St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta
He hailed from Luweero. He was orderly, caring to the king's ceremonial robes and at the same time in charge of the king's treasury. He is the patron of those in charge of finances, treasury and banks.
St. Gonzaga Gonza
He hailed from Bulamogi, in Busoga. He was a zealous and pious Catholic. He is the patron of prisoners, travellers, the ill-treated and those in trouble.
St. Noah Mawaggali
He was a very skillful potter, trustworthy, orderly and cooperative, but unfortunately very poor. He is the patron of the poor, the technicians and the artistes.