Pope preaches faith and prayer to Ugandan youths

Pope Francis at Namugongo where he praised the country's martyrs calling them inspirational

Pope Francis at Namugongo where he praised the country’s martyrs calling them inspirational/Photo Samuel Kayiwa

On his 2nd day in Uganda Pope Francis spoke thousands of Ugandan youths Saturday at Kololo grounds near Kampala and called on them to always pray particularly in times of difficulty.

“Never stop praying. Prayer is the strongest aspect in the soul of a youth,” Pope Francis told huge cheering crowds of Ugandan young people.

The pontiff counselled the young generation embrace faith and rely on it in times of o use their faith to confront life’s difficulties and trouble as they change day to day challenges into opportunities.

Before addressing the youths, the visiting head of the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide first led a momentous mass at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine where he paid tribute to the Uganda martyrs five decades after their canonization.

“Because they had tended to their faith and deepened their love of God, they were fearless in bringing Christ to others, even at the cost of their lives,” the Pope said of the 22 Catholic and 23 Anglican Christian converts who were murdered between 1885-1887 in the East African country’s Buganda Kingdom.

Pope Francis told the faithful the martyrs are inspiration because they sacrificed their lives for Christ and their religious convictions.

The Pope’s visit also brought together the three rival presidential candidates in Uganda; President Yoweri Museveni, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Amama Mbabazi of the The Democratic Alliance (TDA).

Pope Francis will leave Uganda Sunday headed to the Central Africa Republic (CAR) where he will conclude his 5-day Africa tour.

The Pope arrived in Uganda from neighbouring Kenya Friday, shortly after his arrival, Pope Francis said his maiden trip to the continent was “meant to draw attention to Africa as a whole: its promise, its hopes, its struggles and its achievements, the world looks to Africa as the continent of hope.”