St. Charles Lwanga

Charles Lwanga was a saint. This means he lived his life as a very good person close to God. A saint is someone whose earthly life is over and who is now in heaven with God. St. Charles said 'yes' to God's calling. Charles was from Uganda and was baptised on the night following the execution of Joseph Mukasa, who was a catechist and leader in the Catholic community. Charles would now succeed him as head of 500 royal pages.

Charles was put in much danger by his position at the royal court. His position was made even more difficult by protecting the Christian pages from the King's impure desires. One evening in May 1886, the King discovered that his favourite page, Mugagga, who was about 14 years old and son of the Prime Minister, has been attending catechism classes. The King ordered all the Christians to be seized in the outlying villages. He ordered Charles Lwanga to assemble the pages. The King then ordered all those who were Christians to separate themselves from the others. What happened next was an extraordinary display of Christian courage. Charles Lwanga took the youngest page, Kizito, by the hand, followed all the other pages and led them to make a public profession of their Faith. This was also their sentence of death. They were bound with ropes round their necks and wrists. The chief executioner pleaded with his seventeen-year old son to deny his Faith. The boy refused and said, 'I am a Christian and shall remain so to the last'. They then all marched to their execution.

Charles Lwanga and the condemned pages had a brutal twenty miles walk to the place of execution. Charles Lwanga spoke to the pagan bystanders his last words, 'You do not understand our religion, if you did, you too would want to die for the Faith'.

Charles helped others by helping the pages and leading them to what they truly believed. He set the example that, whatever you believe, you must believe until you die. That will be the time when your real faith shows, and you will be with Jesus. Charles Lwanga proved himself to be a true saint and I feel he has been an example of faith and courage to all of us.

Daniela Davey, Year 9
St. Michael's Convent School
Barnet, London.