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  • » 09/17/2014, 00.00


    Pope Francis approves canonisation of the Apostle of Sri Lanka

    The Blessed Joseph Vaz will be a saint. Within the Church of Sri Lanka, some hope to see the canonisation ceremony take place during next January's apostolic visit by the pope.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Blessed Joseph Vaz, 'the Apostle of Sri Lanka', will be a saint, the Holy See announced today. Pope Francis approved the vote by the ordinary session of cardinals and bishops in favour of the canonisation of the Indian-born priest and decided to summon a consistory shortly.

    Within the Church of Sri Lanka, some hope to see the canonisation ceremony take place during the apostolic visit by Pope Francis in Sri Lanka next January.

    Born in Benaulin (now in the Indian state of Goa) in 1651, Joseph Vaz became a priest in 1676 in the Congregation of Saint Philip (Filippo) Neri. As a missionary, he travelled to Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka, where the Dutch East Indies Company had expelled Catholic missionaries and threatened to execute any priest found on the island.

    Operating underground, Fr Vaz helped local Catholics, travelling as far as Colombo, the capital. One of his most important deeds was to translate the Gospel in the country's two languages, Tamil ​​and Sinhala.

    He died in Kandy on 16 January 1711 and was beatified by Saint Pope John Paul II on 21 January 1995, during his apostolic visit to Sri Lanka. On that occasion, the pope described Fr Vaz as the 'Apostle of Sri Lanka'.

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    See also

    17/07/2015 INDIA - SRI LANKA
    After Joseph Vaz, the Goa Church wants another Sri Lankan saint
    The Indian-born Fr Jacome Gonsalves authored scores of Christian texts, which Vaz used in his evangelisation work in Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon. His opus includes 42 religious texts in Tamil and Sinhalese, a first for those languages.

    14/01/2015 SRI LANKA - VATICAN
    Young Catholics: Pope Francis and St Joseph Vaz are "our heroes"
    Tens of thousands of young people came together in Colombo's Galle Face Green for the canonisation of the Apostle of Sri Lanka. For a young woman, who is thinking about becoming a nun, the new saint "encourages us Sri Lankans to devote ourselves to others, now more than ever." Young Catholic man said, "I want to dedicate myself to proclaiming the Word of God to others".

    19/09/2014 SRI LANKA
    Card Ranjith: Joseph Vaz as saint, a missionary example for the Church in Sri Lanka
    The archbishop of Colombo tells AsiaNews that he hopes to see Pope Francis celebrate the canonisation during his visit next January to the former Ceylon. "In the chocking effect of secularism and religious indifferentism, the life of the blessed will be a strong indication for our people of where our options ought to be.

    14/01/2009 SRI LANKA
    Catholics celebrating the Blessed Joseph Vaz, “Apostle of Sri Lanka”
    Celebrations began with a solemn Mass in the village of Maha Galgamuwa. More than 1,500 people have come to the shrine dedicated to the Apostle of Sri Lanka, who was beatified by John Paul II. Across the country the Church is promoting initiatives in preparation for the 300th anniversary of his death, hoping for his canonisation.

    18/09/2014 INDIA - SRI LANKA
    Fr Joseph Vaz, saint and model of evangelisation for Asia
    Mgr Felix Machado, from India, expressed "joy and gratitude" for the canonisation of the Apostle of Sri Lanka. His sanctification will be "a great gift for the Synod on the family."

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