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
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
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
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.