Fr. Matthias Nsamba was born in Uganda in 1970, and serves as a priest in South Africa. All he experienced in Medjugorje he wants to share with his faithful there, and that is how the idea of building the shrine of the Queen of Peace and Mercy, whose goal is to spread the messages of Our Lady in South Africa.
Fr. Nsamba spoke in a programme of Radio „Mir” Međugorje and said: „I come from a big family and I have five sisters and four brothers. I am honoured as my family is a family of Uganda martyrs, those who shed their blood and those martyrs are the seed of the Catholic faith in Uganda. In the period from 1985-1987, king Muanga performed genocide and there were major killings. This can give you an idea of how I was born and how I grew in one strong, Catholic country like Uganda. Each year around 3 million people come to the shrine where we remember those martyrs. My calling as a priest is something Our Lady did for me. I used to ask my own mom a lot why we call Mary our mother, and does she have a child herself. She told me that Jesus was her son, but I said I also wanted to be her child. She advised to talk to a priest and I entered a seminary in 1985, after my counselling with a priest. I was ordained as a deacon on October 7, 2000, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and next year I was ordained as a priest.”
Speaking about his pastoral life in the South Africa, Fr. Matthias said: „We cannot talk about South Africa and not mention the political circumstances that were part of our reality for many years. The whole social life was blocked, which is one of the reasons why Catholic faith was not so strong, only about 5 % of population was Catholic. That is why I decided to go there – to serve, as they were lacking priests. In many areas Catholics were suffering a lot, that is how you can see that there are not strong foundations for the Catholic faith. ”
This priest said that each time one speaks about Medjugorje, there are many miracles taking place, performed by God and Our Lady: „The first time I heard about Medjugorje, I was in Knock, the shrine of Our Lady and a group of Irish pilgrims asked me to accompany them to Medjugorje. I heard and I read a lot about Medjugorje before that, but I thought it was not my time to go there. However, that time I felt it was the right timing. It was not easy to come here and to acquire visas. Our Lady is truly present here, each time I received many graces and I can say God and Our Lady are alive here and many miracles take place here too. As a priest, I was not very devoted to the prayer of the Rosary and my prayer life as a priest was quiet poor, but thanks to Medjugorje that was changed, especially in the prayer of the Rosary. I am very grateful to Gospa on that. Fasting was not dear to me either, but now, with Medjugorje, fasting is strong in my life and that gives me additional graces. The fact that I began to live prayer and fasting has influenced my parishioners and many things changed in my parish – there were new prayer groups formed, people, both young and old, began to pray and to fast, in the best way they can. As a priest, my day starts with prayer of the liturgy of the hours and I read daily readings, but I always include Our Lady’s messages in that. In a way, I want her to guide me. I see myself as a Marian, Our Lady’s priest. What takes place here, the fact that so many people from so many different parts of the world are coming here, all with their prayers – this should be the message for the whole world, that Our Lady is present here, that we are all her children and that she is guiding us. Each time I come to Medjugorje, I confess pilgrims and it is always a strong experience to see how God is present here and how confessions and people are different. People say they are truly being moved by Medjugorje. This is where we have strong experience of God who is indeed present and how even confessions and people are different here. This is where the reconciliation takes place and they find their peace here.”
All Fr. Matthias experienced in Medjugorje, he just does not want to keep it for himself but wishes to share with others. That is how the project was made in which he wishes to spread the messages of Gospa in South Africa. „Each time I return from Medjugorje, I began to share my experiences from here. Usually by personal testimony, I show them pictures from here and I translate Gospa’s messages. People are hungry to hear that. We were thinking of having a place of prayer, a place where people could come on Sundays, to pray and to be in touch with Medjugorje. We began to gather and to pray. We also had a grace of receiving a gift from a friend in the Year of Mercy, who enabled us to build this place of prayer where people would be able to come and to hear about the messages of Medjugorje, Lourdes and other shrines of Our Lady. We already have future foundation stone that shall be built into the shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Mercy. We added the word Mercy, as this project began in the Year of Mercy. More than million people will have much benefit from that shrine and we are certain they would receive peace, consolation and many graces from God at that place.”