Leero Tujaguze ffena ~ Kabimbiri parish choir[Mp3 review & Lyrics]

Leero Tujaguze ffena: A Song of Martyrdom and Faith

If you are a Catholic from Uganda, or have visited the country during the feast of the Uganda Martyrs on June 3rd, you may have heard or sung a hymn that goes like this:

The hymn was composed by the White Fathers, a missionary society of priests and brothers who came to Uganda in the late 19th century to evangelize and serve the local people. ² They adapted the melody from a traditional African tune and wrote the lyrics in Luganda, one of the major languages spoken in Uganda.

Leero tujaguze ffenna

Abajulizi ba Uganda

Abalwadde b'omukisa

Abalungi b'omu lubiri

The phrase 'Leero tujaguze ffena' means 'Today we celebrate you' in Luganda, the most widely spoken language in Uganda. The hymn is a tribute to the 22 young men who were killed between 1885 and 1887 by King Mwanga II of Buganda for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith. They are known as the Uganda Martyrs, and they were canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

The hymn praises the martyrs for their courage, faithfulness, and holiness. It also asks for their intercession and protection. The hymn reflects some of the core beliefs and values of the Catholic faith, such as:

The life and dignity of the human person: The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. The martyrs showed respect for their own dignity and that of others by standing up for their faith and resisting the king's immoral demands. They also witnessed to the value of human life by choosing to die rather than to kill or harm others.

The call to family, community, and participation: The Catholic Church teaches that the person is not only sacred but also social. We are called to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. The martyrs formed a community of believers who supported each other in their faith journey. They also contributed to the common good by spreading the Gospel and inspiring many others to embrace Christianity.

The option for the poor and vulnerable: The Catholic Church teaches that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. We are called to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. The martyrs were mostly young servants or pages who belonged to the lower classes of society. They faced discrimination, oppression, and violence from the king and his court. They also identified with the poor and marginalized by sharing their resources and caring for their needs.

The solidarity: The Catholic Church teaches that we are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, or ideological differences. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to work for peace and justice in the world. The martyrs showed solidarity with each other and with other Christians who were persecuted for their faith. They also showed solidarity with people of other religions who respected their freedom of conscience and opposed the king's tyranny.


Artist: Kabimbiri parish choir

Song: Leero Tujaguze ffena

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The hymn 'Leero tujaguze ffena' is more than just a song. It is a prayer, a testimony, and a challenge. It invites us to celebrate the lives and legacy of the Uganda Martyrs, to ask for their prayers and guidance, and to follow their example of martyrdom and faith.

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