Uganda: 3-Month Pregnant Pilgrim Dies Enroute To Namugongo

A Christian pilgrim from Lira district has collapsed and died on her way to Namugongo shrine to celebrate this year’s Martyrs Day.displaced

According to Samuel Okwir Odwe, the Moroto County Member of Parliament, Scovia Moro, died at about 11:00am when the pilgrims had just reached Matugga trading centre in Wakiso District.

Odwe is among the 460 pilgrims walking from Lira Diocese. He told URN in a telephone interview that Moro who was three months pregnant was among the pilgrims who set off from Lira on May 18, determined to complete the 218-kilometre-walk to Namugongo to mark the martyrs’ day celebrations on 3rd June.

He explained that on Sunday May 28, when the team reached Kasana-Luweero Diocese where they rested, Moro developed a complication and was rushed to Bishop Ceaser Asili hospital where she received treatment.

She was discharged on Monday morning before she embarked on the journey. Odwe said Moro woke up well today morning and joined the team on the last leg of the journey.

When they reached Matugga trading centre, just about 19 kilometres to Namugongo, a vehicle was brought to carry those who were tired and unable to complete the journey to St. Jude Church in Naguru, where they are to take a two-day rest before proceeding to Namugongo.

Odwe said as a few others entered the vehicle, Moro collapsed and died instantly. Rev Fr. Peter Paul Okuta, the priest moving with the pilgrims, said her body has been taken to Mulago hospital for postmortem.

Fr. Okuta also said the rest of the pilgrims arrived safely at St Jude Church in Naguru where they will rest for two days. It is common practice for hundreds of faithfuls to walk on foot to Namugongo from all parts of the country and beyond.

June 3 is commemorated every year in honour of the martyrdom of 45 young men who converted to Christianity between 1885 and 1887 to the annoyance of then King of Buganda, Mwanga II. The young converts were killed after they refused to denounce Christianity.

The martyrs included 22 Catholics who were beatified on June 6, 1920 by Pope Benedict XV and later canonised on October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

The annual pilgrimage in honour of the Uganda Martyrs attracts over two million people from all around the world, including countries like Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and the DRC.

This year, Hoima Diocese will lead the celebrations at the Roman Catholic Shrine while Namirembe Diocese will be leading the celebrations at the Anglican Shrine. The Church of Uganda Martyrs celebrations is a week-long event, that started on May 27 with a Children’s Outreach.


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