I was reading some of the corollary to the martyrs we celebrate today, the numerous ‘pages’ of King Mwanga put to death for resisting his unnatural sexual advances. He had them burned alive, an unpleasant way to go, but Charles Lwanga, who was in charge of the pages, and saved them from the king’s lust – one has to wonder, for Mwanga had at last count seventeen wives. As the flames began to scorch Charles’ own body, he declared to his executioner, It is as if you are pouring water on me. Please repent and become a Christian like me.

Well, I’m not sure about the executioner, but King Mwanga himself did in the end become a Christian, if an Anglican, accepting Baptism during exile on the Seychelles Islands, after being deposed by the British, and his various attempts to regain his throne. Upon accepting Christ, He took the name Daniel, fitting as one who survived the flames unhurt, as did the martyrs, in the end – their souls in beatific glory, waiting to be reunited with their bodies. Mwanga went to face his own eternal fate in his mid-thirties.

And while on many wives, Boris Johnson is the first Prime Minister to live in 10 Downing Street with a woman not his wife. He was married – twice – but both of those women, to paraphrase Christ, were not really his wives. Boris was baptized a Catholic as a baby, lost his faith as he grew up, adopted some vague Anglicanism. Hence, both his marriages were invalid, for once a Catholic, always a Catholic, and he was still bound by the laws of the Church concerning the sacrament of matrimony. Hence, it is with some degree of satisfaction that he and Carrie Symonds – also a Catholic, and, besides her previous domestic situation, a practising one – regularized their union by marrying in the Church, at Westminster Cathedral.

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