Janani Luwun was Archbishop of Uganda and Martyr. He had the dubious fortune to become Archbishop of Uganda when Uganda was being crushed into submission by the government of Idi Amin. Archbishop Luwun stood up to the Amin government’s corrupt, self-serving, and murderous practices despite near-constant threats to Luwun’s life. He protested, both publicly and — this man had serious courage — personally to Amin himself against the arbitrary killings and “disappearances” of people under Amin’s regime. Archbishop Luwun refused to back down and was shot to death by the Amin government in 1977. He was the kind of Christian whom many of us today aspire to be: a Christian who refuses to tolerate the world’s injustices.
The practice of reading about the saints and martyrs on their saints’ days is one that many people find beneficial during Lent. The class we launched last Sunday, Praying with Saints with Scott Gunn and Tim Schenck For Individuals and For Groups, offers many ideas about how to use both the stories and presence of the saints to enrich our Christian lives and ministries.
So why did this post begin with a story about Janani Luwun? Today is the day that The Episcopal Church has set aside to honor and remember Archbishop Luwun as one of our heroes. It is easy to use the liturgical calendar to help us follow this spiritual discipline. Just go to the Calendar of the Church Year and/or to Forward Movement’s Liturgical Calendar, both of which include links to stories and prayers about the saints and martyrs on their saints days. (Here is the Calendar of the Saints version of Archbishop Luwun’s story, and here is Forward Movement’s.) The internet really does make some things very simple.
Whether or not you have taken Praying with Saints, it would be worth your while to explore these online liturgical calendars and make note of the church’s saints and martyrs and their stories. The stories of the saints and martyrs of the church have inspired Christians since the church began to get up each day and choose to live as followers of Christ.
For a preview of Praying With Saints with Scott Gunn and Tim Schenck, please click below.