Kabalega Foundation

The Abbey-Principality of San Luigi commends its members and visitors to support the Kabalega Foundation, a charitable and commemorative institution which has been established in the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara in memory of His late Majesty Omukama Chwa II Kabalega. H.M. Omukama Chwa II Kabalega, then the absolute ruler of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, was responsible for the re-establishment of the Abbey of San Luigi in 1885 and bestowed upon Prince-Abbot Joseph II the title of Mukungu of the Ancient Abbey-Principality of San Luigi (Fizzan), which is held by his successor today.

The Foundation’s activities include civic advocacy and engagement, cultural research and development, environmental protection, and health, water, sanitation and hygiene.

There is also much historical information at the Foundation’s website. The Fact File about H.M. Omukama Chwa II Kabalega recounts the history of the King’s generosity towards the Abbey-Principality, saying,

In 1885 Kabaleega signed a diplomatic agreement with the Abbey Principality of San Luigi (Fezzan), in which he formally recognised the Prince-Abbot and granted the monks territory in Bunyoro. On March 15, 1885, Kabaleega conferred upon the Prince-Abbot the title of “Mukungu (Prince Governor) of the Chieftainship of the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi (Fizzan)” (incorrectly transcribed “Makougos” in a number of later documents). This marked the beginning of the diplomatic relationship between Bunyoro and the Principality, which has continued to-date.

The monks, who had travelled from Fezzan (Libya) through Sudan, remained in Bunyoro until 1888 when an epidemic of tropical fever left Prince-Abbot José II the only survivor; he therefore closed the Abbey in Bunyoro and returned to Europe.

The Principality of San Luigi is a traditional Catholic sovereign principality. It was founded on St Louis’ Day, August 25, 1883, at Ghadames in the Touareg-Azgar country (Tripolitania-Fezzan, now part of modern Libya) by members of the Benedictine Order, with the Rev. Fr Dom Henrice Pacomez elected the first Prince-Abbot and recognised as such by the French government and the Roman Catholic Church. The dignity of Prince-Abbot is of the same character as the Papal titles of prince-abbot and prince-bishop which historically carried with them territorial sovereignty.