This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18 -- Feast of Blessed Jildo Irwa and Daudi Okelo

Somewhere west of Gulu, Uganda is a spot on the map called Wipolo.  If I have the spot right, it was once called Palamuku, but the name was changed sometime around 1918 to Wi Polo, which translates to in Heaven.  The name came from the prayer which the two beati were teaching to their catechumens when they were grabbed by local leaders. 

Daudi and Jildo, who were no more than eighteen and fourteen years old respectively, had been sent by the bishop to Palamuku to preach the Gospel.  They had also been forbidden by elders from preaching the Gospel.  The point (of a spear) was driven home to each of the two boys on October 18, 1918.  Although Pope John Paul II recognized their holy sacrifice with beatification on October 20, 2002, I am not convinced that it is right and proper to send children to preach when lives are on the line. 

The contemporary, secular parallel could be Malala Yousefzai, the fourteen-year old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for attending school.  She had been an outspoken advocate of girls' education for a couple of years.  She had spread her message on youtube in spite of being threatened and denounced by Islamists in her area.  Her dad supported her continued attendance.  While I do not find this a perfect parallel, I do accept that each child fully believed that self-interest and self-improvement was at the heart of their actions.  The boys believed that pleasing God by spreading his good news of would ensure eternal salvation.  The girl believed that education was essential to economic and intellectual independence.  Adults encouraged all three children; other adults brutalized all three children. 

Enough with the kids.  It is bad enough that we are killing each other, but let's not target the little ones anymore, okay?

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