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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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Daily Readings
 12 August 2020
Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Thought of the day
    Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time LECTIONARY:415 FIRST READING: EZK 9:1-7; 10:18-22 The LORD cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer’s case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him: Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. To the others I heard the LORD say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the “Thau”; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men, the elders, who were in front of the temple. Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city. Then the glory of the LORD left the threshold of the temple and rested upon the cherubim. These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them. Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them, while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel. PSALM 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 Response: The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies. Praise, you servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD both now and forever. From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the LORD to be praised. High above all nations is the LORD; above the heavens is his glory. Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high, and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? GOSPEL: MT 18:15-20 Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Source: Archdiocese of Mumbai - official website (https://www.archdioceseofbombay.org/) 12 August 2020 - 06.10 hours
     
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