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Liturgical day: June 3rd: St. Charles Lwanga and companions, martyrs

Gospel text (Mt 5,1-12a): «Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven». When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we celebrate the memory of the martyrs of Uganda: St. Charles Lwanga and his followers, who were killed between 1885 and 1887 by King Mwanga cruelty and his loathing of the faith professed for Jesus and because they refused to accede to the king’s sexual advances. Twenty-two Catholics died: the youngest one, St. Kizito, twelve-year-old. While they were imprisoned, St. Charles Lwanga urged them to be faithful, by fortifying them with their faith and love for Jesus.

—The first to die, Joseph Balikuddembe, said to his executioner: "Tell the King, that we die unfairly, but we forgive him; and tell him to repent too”.