Daily Martyrology for June 3

In Uganda, in 1886, St. Charles Lwanga and companions. The unstable young king, Mwanga was angered when Christian pages in his court would not yield to his sexual advances. Most of them were burned to death, and they prayed as they died. After Mwanga’s death, Christianity advanced rapidly in his territory.

In 545, at Tours, St. Clothilde. A Burgundian Christian, she married Clovis, king of the Franks, about 492. Four years later he was baptized at Rheims. After his death in 511, Clothilde tried to keep peace among her unruly relatives. She eventually retired to Tours, where she devoted herself to prayer and almsgiving.

About 518, at Glendalough, St. Kevin. He was educated by monks and ordained a priest. He became a hermit at the upper lake at Glendalough and established a monastery for those who gathered around him. Many stories are told about his fondness for animals.

In 1963, Blessed John XXIII, pope. He was born of a poor family in the Piedmont, attended a seminary, and earned a doctorate in theology in Rome. He worked as secretary to Bishop Giacomo Radini-Tadeschi of Bergamo, taught in the diocesan seminary, edited the diocesan newspaper, and began a lifelong project of editing the visitation documents of St. Charles Borromeo. He was conscripted and served terms of military service both before and after his ordination. In 1925 he was sent as apostolic visitor to Bulgaria, where he spent ten frustrating years. Then he was sent as apostolic delegate to Greece and Turkey. There he set up a network to help people escape from the Nazis. Next he served as papal nuncio to France. In 1953 he was made cardinal and patriarch of Venice. In 1958 he was elected pope, and set himself to opening the church to dialogue with contemporary society’s needs, achievements and aspirations, so that the church could bring Christ to the world. To that end he called the Second Vatican Council. He also wrote several important social encyclicals. He died in 1963, after the council was well under way.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.