Thought for the Day – 20 October – The Memorial of Blesseds Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa – Ugandan Martyrs
“My thoughts turn first of all to the two young catechists from Uganda, Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa. These two courageous witnesses were no more than boys when, with simplicity and faith, they shed their blood for Christ and his Church. With youthful enthusiasm for their mission of teaching the faith to their fellow countrymen, they set out in 1918 for northern Uganda. It was there, as evangelisation was just beginning in that region, that they chose to embrace death rather than abandon the area and forsake their duties as catechists. Truly, in their lives and witness we can see that they were “beloved by God and chosen by him” (cf. I Thes 1,4).
Daudi and Jildo are today raised to the glory of the altar. They are given to the entire Christian community as examples of holiness and virtue and as models and intercessors for catechists throughout the world, especially in those places where catechists still suffer for the faith, sometimes facing social marginalisation and even personal danger. May the life and witness of these two dedicated servants of the Gospel inspire many men and women – in Uganda, in Africa and elsewhere – to answer with generosity the call to be a catechist, bringing knowledge of Christ to others and strengthening the faith of those communities that have recently received the Gospel of salvation.”
(Pope John Paul II on World Mission Sunday 20 October 2002)
“These two young catechists are a shining example of fidelity to Christ, commitment to Christian living and selfless dedication to the service of neighbour. With their hope firmly set on God and with a deep faith in Jesus’ promise to be with them always, they set out to bring the Good News of salvation to their fellow countrymen, fully accepting the difficulties and dangers that they knew awaited them. May their witness serve to strengthen you as you seek to bear true Christian witness in every aspect of your lives. Through their intercession may the Church be an ever more effective instrument of goodness and peace in Africa and in the world. God bless Uganda.”
(Pope John Paul II to Ugandan visitors – 21 October 2002)
Blesseds Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa, Pray for Catechists, pray for us all!
You call us to be in relationship with You and others.
Thank You for calling me to be a catechist,
for the opportunity to share with others
what You have given to me.
May all those with whom I share the gift of faith
discover how You are present in all things.
May they come to know You, the one true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom Uou have sent.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide my heart and lips,
so that I may remain constant in loving and praising You.
May I be a witness to the Gospel and a minister of Your truth.
May all my words and actions reflect Your love.