It is as if you are pouring water on me. Please repent and become a Christian like me.” (Saint Charles Lwanga, said to the Guardian of the Flame as he—Charles—was being burnt).

This is the place where Christ’s light shone on your land with a particular splendor. This was the place of darkness, Namugongo, where Christ’s light shone bright in the great fire which consumed Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions. May the light of that holocaust never cease to shine in Africa! The heroic sacrifice of the Martyrs helped to draw Uganda and all of Africa to Christ, the true light which enlightens all men (Confer John 1: 9). Men and women of every race, language, people and nation (Confer Rev. 5: 9) have answered Christ’s call, have followed him and have become members of his Church, like the crowds which come on pilgrimage, year after year, to Namugongo. Today, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter, has also come on pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Holy Uganda Martyrs. Following in the footsteps of Pope Paul VI, who raised these sons of your land to the glory of the altars and later was the first Pope to visit Africa, I too wish to plant a special kiss of peace on this holy ground - Saint Pope John Paul II.