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Martyrs of Paimol

The Archdiocese of Gulu has been honored to have two of its martyrs: Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa recognized and honored in the Church as Blessed. Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa are the first fruits of the spreading of the Gospel by the Comboni Missionaries in Northern Uganda.

These two young catechists were remarkable because, having just received Baptism and Confirmation, they realized that to be a Christian means to share one's faith, even at the cost of life itself, should this become necessary. So they started at once to work as catechist, and carried on until they shed their blood

He was 16 - 18 years old, born in a village of Ogom, Payira. He was baptized and confirmed in 1916 at Kitgum Mission. He spent two years between his Baptism and his martyrdom as a catechist at Paimol, which is now an outstation of Kalongo Parish

Jildo was even younger: 12 to 14 years old. He was born in a village of Bar-Kitoba, and was baptized and confirmed with Daudi. Despite his young age, he was sent to work with Daudi at the beginning of November 1917. He collaborated with generosity and enthusiasm for almost a year, teaching the catechumens of Paimol.

People who opposed the new religion took advantage of socio-political unrest to stop the preaching of the Gospel in Paimol. The two catechists were hounded, threatened, ordered to give up their activities, and finally speared to death. It was the week end of 18th - 20th October 1918.

The name of the place where they were killed, originally known as Palamuku was changed to Wi Polo ("in heaven") in accordance with the prayer of the "Our Father" which Daudi and Jildo had been teaching.

Daudi and Jildo were beatified by His Holiness Pope John Paul II  on October 20th, 2002, in a ceremony witnessed by many from the Archdiocese of Gulu and from Uganda as a whole.

Lord, you enkindled in the hearts of the blessed catechists David and Jildo
an ardent desire to proclaim the Gospel,
and through their martyrdom strengthened the early growth of the Church in Uganda.
By their example, strengthen us in our faith,
and grant that we may share it with our brothers and sisters.
Through their intercession, give us the grace we need in this moment,
and may we all come to enjoy the fruits of your redemption.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.


The sacrifice continues


Bwola Dancers graced the celebration in Rome        His Holiness John Paul II honors the ceremonial dancers with a photoshot            The delegation from the Archdiocese of Gulu: Priests, religious and laity