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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
 April 23rd, 2019
Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Thought of the day
    April 23rd, 2019 Tuesday in the Octave of Easter Lectionary: 262 Reading 1 ACTS 2:36-41 On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people, “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. Responsorial Psalm PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 AND 22 R.(5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Alleluia PS 118:24 R. Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel JN 20:11-18 Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.
     
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