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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
 10-Apr-2021
10 April 2021: Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Thought of the day
    10 April 2021: Saturday in the Octave of Easter LECTIONARY: 266 FIRST READING: ACTS 4:13-21 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. PSALM: PS 118:1 AND 14-15AB, 16-18, 19-21 Response: I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my saviour. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. “The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.” I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Though the LORD has indeed chastised me, yet he has not delivered me to death. Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the just shall enter it. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my saviour. GOSPEL: MK 16:9-15 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Source: Official website of Archdiocese of Mumbai
     
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