Rome requires a “Medical miracle” for beatification and eventual canonization of Msgr. Ngobya
Thousands of believers on Sunday thronged Masaka diocesan Sports Arena for Msgr. Aloysious Ngobya Pilgrimage which is commemorated every year.
The Holy Mass was led by Rev. Fr. Stephen Kijjambu, the Parish Priest at Kiziba Parish in Rakai district.
During the mass, Rev. Fr. Dr. Edward Ssekabanja, the Masaka diocesan chancellor who is also the chairperson of a commission of inquiry to ascertain whether Msgr Ngobya deserved canonization, said Rome now requires a “medical miracle” for beatification and eventual canonization of Monsignor Aloysius Ngobya.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Edward Ssekabanja also unveiled a special team of three Priests including Fr. Richard Mugisha Junior, Fr. Kizito Nkonge and Fr. Michael Ssewakiryanga to document the historical facts about Msgr. Ngobya and present scientific evidence and testimonies from believers which will be presented to Rome.
Ever since the cause of the beatification of Ngobya was initiated, the faithful have been praying for an extraordinary miracle to be wrought through the intercession of the priest, who has been exalted to the position of servant of God.
Msgr Ngobya, who died in 1985 is said to have performed miracles during his lifetime.
Msgr Ngobya served the Catholic Church for about 71 years, having been ordained a priest in 1915. During this period, he is said to have performed miracles that not only made him a popular priest but also a feared one, as his curses were known to be effective
After his death, several Christians with various hardships have been making pilgrimage to his grave at Kitovu and praying for redemption. Having overcome their hardships, Christians agitated for Msgr. Ngobya’s beatification, forcing the Masaka diocesan leadership to set aside a special day for his pilgrimage.
The road to sainthood is not new to Uganda as Ugandan Martyrs paved the way in the canonization process. However, it took 52 years for the process to be completed.
FACTS ABOUT MSGR.NGOBYA
He was born in 1896 at Mulema Village, Kyannamukaaka Sub-county, in Masaka District. He became a Catholic priest on June 1 1925. He served in various parishes as parish priest and he wrote four books: Olitutumuka, Nyoko Wuuno, Wewonye Puligatoli, and Nkuluze.
Whether during the day or at night, it seems impossible not to find people praying at Father Ngobya’s grave, all through the year. Some even believe that by putting a bottle of water next to the grave, that water becomes holy and medicinal.
Others believe that a rosary that has touched the grave is a special spiritual protection against any evil and it is the item to wave about in the air perhaps to guard against an eminent dangerous hailstorm or any other such calamity. His portraits sell like hot cakes and some people are doing brisk business selling them in all sizes near his burial place. Non-Catholics have also been known to pray at Father Ngobya’s grave and are said to have obtained whatever they wanted.
One striking event is when he died on January 9, 1986, at Rubaga Hospital. His body could not be transported to Masaka Diocese for burial because rebels fighting the government at that time had blocked the road from Kampala to Masaka. The late Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga therefore directed that Ngobya’s body be embalmed. But to everyone’s surprise every embalmment method proved futile. No injection could enter his body according to Sister Maria Angella Nabakooza of the Mary Repatrix Congregation, Gogonya, who is still alive and was taking care of the dead body at the time.
Catholic priests in Masaka Diocese as a rule are buried in a cemetery at Bukalasa Seminary. However, just before he died, Monsignor Ngobya wrote in his will requesting the then Bishop of Masaka Diocese Adrian K Ddungu, to be buried beside the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Chapel at Kitovu which, incidentally, he was instrumental in constructing when he served there as parish priest. The irony now is that more people go to pray at his grave which is along the verandah of the chapel than those who enter the chapel itself to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for which purpose he had it built.