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    Pope approves Joseph Vaz as first saint to Sri Lanka

    September 18, 2014

    Blessed Joseph Vaz will soon become Sri Lanka's first saint after Pope Francis Sept. 17 advanced his cause for canonization by waiving the requirement for a second miracle.

    Pope Francis’ approval of  the votes of the Ordinary Session of the Cardinals and Bishops in favor of canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz  attains special significance in the wake of the forthcoming visit of the Holy Father to Sri. Lanka in January 2015, the VAtican said.

     

    Bl.Vaz was born in Goa, India, in 1651.  As a priest he volunteered to work in Sri Lanka amid persecution of Catholics by Dutch colonial rulers, who were Calvinists.

     

    He was a veritable apostle for the Sri Lankan Church and he renewed the faith which had been affected by  persecution.

     

    Since Bl.Joseph Vaz was born, educated  and ordained a priest in India and opted to be a missionary in Sri Lanka, both the  countries have special significance at his being raised to the honours of the altar.  (KH)

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