Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Seven monumental sausage trees planted by the Holy Father Pope Francis during his 2015 papal visit to Uganda are flourishing, four years later. The trees were planted in various places in Kampala Diocese to represent the letters to the Seven Churches in the Biblical book of Revelation.
Each of the seven letters which are all the beginning of the book of Revelation, is a prophetic word from Jesus, through the Spirit, who is inspiring John to write. The letters warn against false teachers and evil in the world and messages that encourage the sleeping Church to wake up.
One of the seven monumental trees was planted in front of Uganda Martyrs Minor Basilica in Munyonyo, where the execution orders of the 45 Ugandan martyrs was passed by the then Kabaka of Buganda, Mwanga II. The others were planted in Namugongo Martyrs Shrine and Lubaga Cathedral, the Cradle of Catholic Church and pioneer Missionaries to Uganda.
Father Ulman Male, the Parish priest of Uganda Martyrs’ Minor Basilica says the trees are budding under the tender care of the Church. He says none of the seven trees died.
The Sausage Tree is a cherished species whose wood is used to make an African xylophone instrument. The sausage tree flowers bloom mainly at night, to attract night-flying bats as pollinators. While in some parts of the world, women use treatments of dried sausage tree fruit as a facial cosmetic to keep skin smooth.
Father Male says the Sausage tree, known for its characteristic bitterness, was chosen to signify the bitter history of Christianity in Uganda which culminated into the martyrdom of the country’s pioneer converts.
Fr. Male says during the same visit, the Holy Father also brought along a precious stone for the Cornerstone of the foundation for the construction of Munyonyo Uganda Martyrs’ Minor Basilica.
The stone has been anchored onto the outside wall on the Church, strategically to the right side of the Western entrance of the Minor Basilica. At this position, the stone overlooks the Statute of St. Andrew Kaggwa and the shrine hosting the relics of some of the martyrs.
Today the blood of the martyrs is considered the main seed of faith of Christianity in the country.