Joseph Mukasa

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Saint Joseph Mukasa
Karoli Lwanga and his followers.jpg
Joseph Mukasa and his companions
Born 1860
Buganda, Uganda
Died 15 November 1885
Nakivubo, Uganda
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 1920 by Pope Benedict XV
Canonized 18 October 1964 by Pope Paul VI
Major shrine Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs, Namugongo
Feast 3 June
Patronage Chiefs, politicians

Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe (1860 - 15 November 1885) was a Ugandan Roman Catholic and the majordomo [1] at the court of Mwanga II of Buganda, recognized as a martyr and saint by the Catholic Church. Early in his reign, the new king Mwanga began to crack down on Christian missionaries and converts in his country, and executed the British Anglican bishop James Hannington and his companions on October 29, 1885, ignoring Mukasa's pleas to spare the bishop. One of the main reasons that Mwanga killed Mukasa was because Mukasa spoke out against Mwanga's homosexual practices.[2]

After a night-long interview Mwanga condemned him to death. Mukasa was taken to a place near the Nakivubo river where he was knifed and his body burned.[1] His duties were assumed by the young catechist Charles Lwanga. Mukasa is remembered as first of the Martyrs of Uganda.


  1. ^ a b See Dictionary of African Christian Biography: Joseph Mukasa
  2. ^ Martyrs in the History of Christianity by Franklyn J. Balasundaram

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