During the years 1979-1986, our beloved country was marred by wars. Many people lost property and lives too, reaching an extent of saying that, perhaps God had forsaken Uganda. But despite all this, many Ugandan Christians prayed to our Lady Queen of peace to restore peace in our country. Among the many who prayed to Mother Mary very fervently, was a Comboni – Verona missionary, Rev. Father John De Bernard, the then parish of Lweza Catholic Church.
He pledged that if peace was restored in Uganda with safety from bombs; he would certainly erect a shrine and dedicate it to Mother Mary.
In the property that was looted during the war of 1979, was a box which was found around the railway in Kampala; in it was the statue of Mother Mary.
Fortunately, it was neither taken far nor damaged. It was left open by the looters thinking they had looted a corpse of a white English Lady. The people who found it later, informed the Catholic church at the time, who later collected and took it to Nsambya Procure, waiting for its claimants. As for Fr. John, after the civil war, he fulfilled his pledge by building a shrine on top of Kiwamirembe hill, baptiseing it “Our Lady Queen of peace Shrine”. He then went on the hunt for an appropriate and big enough statue of Mary. However, he was fortunate enough to procure the statue from Nsambya through the then Archbishop Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga (RIP) who granted him permission After years of waiting for the claimants of the statue that didn’t show up.
RECTOR’S MESSAGE ON THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AND KIWAMIREMBE DAY
Dear people of God, sons and daughters of Mother Mary, I warmly welcome you to Kiwamirembe Catholic Shrine. We have gathered here to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Kiwamirembe Day. On your behalf and on my behalf allow me to cordially welcome the papal Nuncio to Uganda, His Excellency Arch Bishop Michael August Blume who willingly accepted to be main celebrant. I welcome and thank Archbishop Dr. Cypriano Kizito Lwanga who officially invited the main celebrant.
My message dear pilgrim is based on the theme of the day; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him: (LK 1.50). in this Theme, Mother Mary was glorifying the Lord for having showed His mercy by choosing her to be the mother of the promised savior Jesus Christ. In simple language Mercy has three implications: Forgiveness, Forget and Forego. To bring these to reality, Msgr. Mbwega left us a great reminder of the Scala Santa, (Holy Stairs) as a way to help us to attain them. I therefore believe that by using these stairs we shall attain God’s Mercy as it has also been directed by Pope Francis in his letter” The Face of Mercy. In this letter the Holy Father has said that he will open the Holy Door which will become a Door of Mercy on 8th December 2015. For us let these Holy Stairs be our Door of God’s Mercy to us.
I am very appreciative to the organization committee and all those who have contributed to the success of today’s celebration and the production of our 2015 edition; thank you and may the good Lord Bless you abundantly.
May Mother Mary who was chosen by God to be the Ark of the convenant between God and man and who treasured devine Mercy in her heart in perfect harmony with her son Jesus intercede for all pilgrims who will kneel and pray on the Holy Stairs to receive God’s mercy which was promised to all those who fear him from Generation to Generation.
Mary Queen of peace; pray for us.