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Blessed St. Joseph Vaz Community

Blessed St. Joseph Vaz (21 April 1651, Benaulim - 16 January 1711, Kandy) was a Catholic Oratorian priest from Goa. He is known as the Apostle of Ceylon.

Fr. Vaz entered Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) during the Dutch occupation, when Calvinism was the official religion. He traveled throughout the island bringing the Eucharist and the sacraments to clandestine groups of Catholics. Later in his mission, he found shelter in the Kandyan kingdom where he was able to work freely. At the time of his death, Fr. Vaz managed to rebuild the Catholic church on the island. On 21 January 1995, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Colombo

St. Joseph Vaz, CO,(Konkani: Bhagivont Zuze Vaz; Portuguese: São José Vaz; Sinhalese: Santha Juse Vaz Piyathuma; , 21 April 1651 – 16 January 1711) was an Oratorian priest and missionary in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon.

Vaz arrived in Ceylon during the Dutch occupation, when the Dutch were imposing Calvinism as the official religion after taking over from the Portuguese. He travelled throughout the island bringing the Eucharist and the sacraments to clandestine groups of Catholics. Later in his mission, he found shelter in the Kingdom of Kandy where he was able to work freely. By the time of his death, Vaz had managed to rebuild the Catholic Church on the island.

As a result of his labors, Vaz is known as the Apostle of Ceylon. On 21 January 1995, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Colombo. He was canonized on 14 January 2015 by Pope Francis in an open-air Mass ceremony at the Galle Face Green in Colombo.[1]

Keith Vaz, the Member of Parliament for Leicester East, is a distant descendent of the missionary


Blessed St. Joseph Vaz - Apostle of Kanara and Sri Lanka

1651 - Born in Benaulim, Goa, India, on April 21.
1676 - Is ordained a priest. Shortly after, volunteers to go to Sri Lanka where the Dutch were persecuting Catholics and had banned all priests from entering theisland. The Chapter of Goa refuses his offer because the mission would have meant certain death for him.
1681 - Is sent to rescue the almost extinct mission in Kanara, present-day Karnataka in India. Rebuilds the Church in Mangalore and Kanara, establishes missions, tends to the sick, ransoms prisoners.
1684 - Returns to Goa and joins a band of native Indian priests who formed a community.
1685 - Founds a religious Congregation, the 'Oratory of St. Philip Neri', on September 25.
1686 - Leaves Goa secretly and sets out for Sri Lanka.
1687 - Arrives in Jaffna in the Tamil region of Sri Lanka, with a servant, John Vaz, both disguised as coolies. He works with a price on his head.
1691 - Is almost captured by the Dutch and is advised to go to Kandy. Is brought into Kandy in chains and imprisoned as a Portuguese spy by the Buddhist King,Vimaladharna Surya II.
1693 - Works a miracle of rain during a severe drought. The King releases him and gives him protection and freedom to preach in his kingdom. As in Goa and in Mangalore, is often seen in ecstasy in prayer. The people call him "Sammana Swami" or Angelic Father.
1697 - Is joined by three of his Indian Oratorians from Goa. During a small-pox epidemic in Kandy, the King and the people flee the capital. Fr. Vaz and Fr. Carvalho, tend to the dying and abandoned victims for almost two years.
1705 - Dedicates the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu.
1711 - Dies in Kandy on January 16, after 23 years of arduous missionary work in Sri Lanka.
 

 
     
 
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Homily - September 20th 2021 by  Fr Lawrence
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Daily Readings
 20 Sep 2021
20 Sept 2021 - Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest
Thought of the day
    20 Sept 2021 - Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest LECTIONARY: 449 FIRST READING: Ezr 1:1-6 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. And all who were about them aided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered. PSALM: 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6 Response: The Lord has done marvels for us. When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. GOSPEL: Luke 8:16-18 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Source: Archdiocese of Mumbai official website (https://www.archdioceseofbombay.org/)
     
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