Daudi’s parentage, baptism and death
Okello Daudi, born in about 1900, was a son of Lodi and his wife Amona. They belonged to Ongon Payira, one of the largest clans of the Acholi people of Northern Uganda. At the age of about 16 years, Okello was baptized receiving the name Daudi on 6th June 1916 by Fr. Caesar Gambaretto, a Comboni Missionary at the newly founded Catholic Mission of Kitgum. Daudi’s godfather was Firmino Mugenyi of Masindi.
The Comboni Missionaries had recruited several willing Catechists from Southern areas of Uganda where Christianity had taken root thirty years earlier. On 15th October 1916, Daudi received the sacrament of Confirmation.
The mission station of Kitgum which had been established in 1915 experienced very hard and difficult times culminating into unrest among the population. This was mainly due to the “Spanish Fever” epidemic that claimed lives of many people; the spread of a form of syphilis (called nyac abac by the Acholi), believed to have been imported by Arab traders; the 1916 famine which had recently caused the death of Antonio the Catechist of Paimol; the proliferation of guns in the area. Despite all these difficulties which they were well aware of, Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa took their Christian mission seriously and with determination. Having completed their probation year as devout Christians in October 1917, Daudi and Jildo felt they were ready to embark on an evangelizing mission to other people. So they took on the task.
Daudi Okello was killed at Paimol Kalongo, Northern Uganda on 18th October 1918 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 20th October 2002.