Friday 24th January 2020

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Vaz Of Sri Lanka

December 26, 2019 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit, was a great missionary to the East, beginning with India. St. Thomas the Apostle reached Tamil Nadu and Kerala, converting many of the people there. Thus, the seeds of the Church had been planted when Joseph Vaz was born in Benaulim, Goa, of Portuguese India.
Joseph Vaz was born on April 21, 1651 to Cristovao Vaz and Maria de Miranda who were devout Catholics. Cristovao came from a prominent family of Sancoale. The third of six children, Joseph was baptized by Fr. Jacinto Pereira in St. John the Baptist Church, Benaulim.
As a child, Joseph learned to speak and write in Portuguese and Latin. Respected by both teachers and students, he made rapid progress in his schooling, so Cristovao sent him to Goa for higher education.
At the Jesuit College of St. Paul, Joseph studied rhetoric and humanities. Then he transferred to St. Thomas Academy run by the Dominicans, where he studied philosophy and theology.
In 1675 Custodio de Pinho, the vicar apostolic of Bijapur and Golcanda, ordained Joseph a deacon for the Archdiocese of Goa. Then Archbishop Antonio Brandao ordained him a priest in 1676.
Joseph had true spiritual poverty and would walk barefoot wherever he went. Soon he became a popular preacher and confessor by both his example and his oratory. He also opened a school in Sancoale for prospective seminarians.
As Joseph grew in holiness, so did his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and in 1677 he signed a Deed of Bondage, whereby he consecrated himself a slave of Mary.
Although Joseph sought permission to go to Ceylon — modern Sri Lanka — as a missionary, his superior sent him to Canara to mediate. The Catholic Church was controlled by the king’s appointees, the Padroado, engaged in a political struggle with the Propaganda Fidei.
In addition, Fr. Vaz worked as a missionary in Canara from 1681 to 1684 with great success. He restored the Rosario Cathedral in Mangalore; built new churches at Onore, Basroor, Cundapore, and Gangolim; and set up schools in various villages with the assistance of the people.
Furthermore, Fr. Vaz established many confraternities throughout Canara. With the shortage of priests, these confraternities helped gather Catholics together to celebrate sacred festivals. In villages where there were no priests, he built small huts so the Catholics could meet and recite their prayers and sustain their fervor.
During the three years of service in Canara, Fr. Vaz left a lasting legacy by his generosity, charity, and holiness. He consistently worked to lift up the lowly and suffering. Toward this end, many miracles happened.
For example, at Mudipu in Bantwal, a few Hindus came in the night and asked Fr. Vaz to come with them to administer the Last Rites to a sick parishioner. They were planning to kill Vaz.
Fr. Vaz left with the men and they climbed to a top of a hill, and the men then tried to kill him. With uncommon serenity, Fr. Vaz knelt on a rock and held his staff on the ground next to him. A light flashed around him and water began flowing where he knelt. This so frightened the men who had planned to kill him that they fled.
Later a shrine was built on the hill in commemoration of the miracle. It has become a popular annual pilgrimage site, with thousands of persons seeking divine assistance.
In 1684 the old Padroado conflict reared its ugly head again. The new archbishop, Manuel de Souse e Menezes, was most displeased with the truce that Fr. Vaz had arranged, refusing Fr. Vaz’s request to return to Goa.
When Fr. Vaz finally returned to Goa, he maintained a low profile while dedicating himself fully to the service of the people, visiting the surrounding parishes, praying Mass, and preaching.
Soon he joined a group of priest in the archdiocese who wanted to live in community. On September 25, 1686 this group was officially recognized as the congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, the first native Indian congregation in the Goa Diocese.
Before finally arriving in Ceylon, Fr. Vaz became superior of the Canara Mission until the end of 1686. Having finally received permission, he went to Ceylon. Before he left, he spent a few months ministering to the spiritual needs of the local Christians in the Keladi Kingdom.
Fr. Vaz landed at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, on the southeast coast of India, in early 1687. He disguised himself as a beggar for protection. The next stage of the journey took Fr. Vaz and his servant, John, to Mannar. Since this was a dangerous undertaking, they disguised themselves as laborers, carrying no baggage and hiding the sacred vessels on their persons.
Because of severe storms, the captain detoured to Mannar where Fr. Vaz and John had no food and resources so were sustained by the charity of fellow passengers. The two were set ashore in Mannar where they begged for provisions and regained some of their strength. They also obtained passports in Mannar to facilitate their arrival in Jaffna in northern Ceylon.
Arriving in Ceylon did not alleviate their challenges. The Calvinist presence was great and Catholic priests were not allowed on the island colony of the Dutch. Thus in disguise as Hindu mendicants, they made their way around Jaffna. Fr. Vaz had acute dysentery and eventually found some Catholics who took him in and tended to his recovery.
In Sillalai, a predominantly Catholic village, Fr. Vaz found people eager for the sacraments and there he began his mission in Ceylon. In 1690, Fr. Vaz had to move to Puttalam for 18 months. The Catholics had not had a priest for 36 years, but he restored their faith before leaving.
Next Fr. Vaz stopped in Veuda where an anti-Catholic Frenchman had Fr. Vaz and John arrested and sent to Kandy in chains.
In Kandy Fr. Vaz and John were put under house arrest. They built a shelter where people could see them praying all day. When he celebrated Christmas Mass in 1691, no objection was raised so he continued saying Mass, and soon people were given permission to attend Mass. Eventually the shelter was replaced with a church.
When the king asked Fr. Vaz to pray for rain during a severe drought, the rain started before Fr. Vaz rose from his knees. This greatly helped the priest and his servant.
As news spread to Goa of his great success and the many churches built as well as the great number of conversions, more missionaries were sent to Ceylon from the Neri oratory. Then Fr. Vaz was made vicar general of Ceylon.
In 1697 a small pox epidemic spread through Colombo. After the healthy people left to save their lives, Fr. Vaz and his associates stayed to care for the sick. Because of this heroic charity, the Catholic priests were given more freedom to go throughout Ceylon.
He built up the Body of Christ throughout the island nation and more priests were allowed to come to Ceylon.
On Fr. Vaz’s last missionary trip he fell ill. Although he tried to complete his eight day retreat, he died on the seventh day, January 16, 1711. January 16 is his feast day. Pope Francis canonized him on January 14, 2015.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

22,000 people showed up in Virginia to protest an infringement on their Constitutional rights

No buildings vandalized

No journalists attacked

No cops were harassed

Some in the media call these patriots domestic terrorists

Yet they refuse to say the same about ANTIFA

🤔

His Eminence, @cardinalrlburke will be marching for life with the @GuadalupeShrine group in #WashingtonDC this week, giving public witness to the inviolable right to life! #MarchForLife #CatholicTwitter 👶🏼👶🏻👶🏽👶🏾👶🏿🤰🏻🤰🏼🤰🏽🤰🏾🤰🏿

Load More...

Catholic parish will not host Episcopalian consecration

Richmond, Va., Jan 17, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold a bishops’s consecration at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, after an internet petition objecting to the event drew national attention. “It…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan conducting ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Brooklyn’s Bishop DiMarzio

New York City, N.Y., Jan 18, 2020 / 09:05 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, following an allegation of sexual abuse. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of Vos estis lux…Continue Reading

Theodore McCarrick has moved from Kansas friary

Denver, Colo., Jan 7, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- The disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has moved from the Kansas friary where he had been living since 2018. A spokesman for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad told CNA…Continue Reading

Vatican Archbishop: those who say Judas is in hell are ‘heretics’ and priests may ‘accompany’ assisted suicides

ROME, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a statement difficult to reconcile with Scripture and Tradition, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has claimed on behalf of the Catholic Church that anyone who says Judas Iscariot is in…Continue Reading

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone resigns after year of scandal

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Wednesday accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is…Continue Reading

Chinese bishop says Catholics must put ‘love for homeland’ first

Beijing, China, Dec 3, 2019 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made the statement during a Communist Party…Continue Reading

Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding. The Toronto Star’s…Continue Reading

Pope compares politicians who persecute gays, Jews to Hitler

Pope Francis denounced the persecution of gay people on Friday and compared public officials who stoke hatred and anti-gay sentiment to Hitler. Francis delivered his remarks at an international conference on criminal law at the Vatican City, Reuters reported. “It is…Continue Reading

7-year-old whose mom tried to ‘transition’ him chooses to attend school as a boy

DALLAS, Texas, November 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother enrolled him in kindergarten as a “girl,” has finally been able to attend school as a boy for the first time. James’ parents’ fight over whether he should…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’

Washington D.C., Oct 31, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden last Sunday. On an Oct. 31…Continue Reading

Judge blocks Alabama law banning abortions, pro-lifers plan to appeal to Supreme Court

October 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Alabama’s ban on virtually all abortions will not take effect on November 15 as planned, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In May, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama…Continue Reading

Biden denied communion at South Carolina church over abortion stance, report says

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden was reportedly denied communion by a priest at a South Carolina Catholic church over the weekend. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, stopped by Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence on Sunday, but was denied Holy Communion by Father Robert E. Morey,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

President Trump Will Attend March for Life in Person, First President Ever to Join Pro-Lifers

trump

President Donald Trump will address the March for Life on Friday in live remarks to hundreds of thousands of pro-life people attending the event from across the country. He will be the first president ever to attend the March for Life in person, having addressed the March via video previously. March for Life officials told LifeNews.com they were delighted President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person –joining half a…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland says he asked pope about McCarrick report

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, said he asked Pope Francis about the Vatican investigation into Theodore E. McCarrick and the release of a promised report on how the former cardinal managed to rise through the church ranks. The bishop, who was making his “ad limina” visit to Rome, drew widespread attention in August 2018 for a public statement saying he found “credible” the allegations made by retired Archbis

Catholic League blasts bill on clergy abuse, accuses lawmaker of trying to ‘police the sacraments of the Catholic Church’

SALT LAKE CITY — A group dedicated to defending the Catholic Church and its traditions is blasting a lawmaker for a bill that essentially removes the clergy exemption for reporting disclosures of abuse. “You are treading on dangerous territory,” Bill Donahue, the group’s president, wrote in a letter obtained by FOX 13. “When the government seeks to police the sacraments of the Catholic Church — or encroach on the tenets of a

">

Benedict XVI .: I am not co-author of Sarah’s book

Vatican City, January 14, 2020 (CAP) Benedict XVI has distanced itself from the authorship of the book on priesthood and celibacy, which Cardinal Robert Sarah published. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, told the Catholic news agency Kathpress in Rome on Tuesday that, at the request of the pope emeritus, Sarah called early Tuesday morning to ask the publisher to remove Benedict XVI’s name and picture. prompt from the book cover. The signature…Continue Reading

Advertisement3

Mindong’s Bishop Guo Will Sleep On The Street

By FR. BERNARCO CERVELLERA ROME (AsiaNews) — Bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin, former ordinary bishop of Mindong (Fujian), is now homeless and sleeping on the doorstep of his curia and clergy house in Luojiang, following the January 15 arrival of an eviction order for him and for the priests who work and live with him. To…Continue Reading

The Facts… About The Controversial New Book By Both Cardinal Sarah And Benedict XVI

  By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf posted the following on his January 15 blog at https://wdtprs.com/. It is reprinted here with permission. Please visit his blog for the links he mentions in his text.) + + + Edward Pentin has posted at the National Catholic Register [blog dated January…Continue Reading

An NFL Owner’s Final Victory

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate, www.creators.com, distributes his column.) + + + Fr. Bill McGuire was sitting in the upper level of the press box at Kezar Stadium watching his hometown team play the Chicago Bears. Things were not going well. The 49ers fumbled…Continue Reading

Seth Meyers Likes Neo-Nazi Tactics

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented on remarks made January 13 by Seth Meyers on his NBC show.) + + + Brooklyn has been hit with a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and no one uses this as a pretext to make light of them. A Catholic church in Brooklyn was…Continue Reading

Bishop Sheen Comes To My Home Town

By DONALD DeMARCO The 1960s counterculture movement did much to undo many traditional social values, especially those regarding personal relationships and human community. It served as a kind of stage rehearsal for the 1970s, which Tom Wolfe aptly dubbed “The Me Decade.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, launched the decade which gave…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Regarding your comments on the three Wise Men in a recent Wanderer, Fr. Dwight Longenecker has written a book on the subject — Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. Based on his research, he concludes that they were diplomats from the kingdom of Nabatea in northern Arabia coming to pay homage to the…Continue Reading

Focus On The Light

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 8:23-9:3 1 Cor. 1:10-13, 17 Matt. 4:12-23 In the first reading today, Isaiah tells us that “God first degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,” but then tells us everything is turned around for the people in these lands and that “the people who…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell Transferred To New Maximum-Security Prison

MELBOURNE, Australia (CNA) — George Cardinal Pell has reportedly been transferred out of the Melbourne prison in which he has been incarcerated for more than a year after a drone illegally flew over the prison grounds. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, Pell was moved out of Melbourne Assessment Prison after a drone flew over the prison garden in an…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In an effort to promote eucharistic adoration, we published the following article in our parish bulletin. Feel free to use it in your own parish. Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. These familiar words from a Christmas carol remind us of our obligation to offer adoration to the Lord. To be sure, we are also to…Continue Reading

God Wants Us To Be Great Saints

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:5-6 1 Cor. 1:1-3 John 1:29-34 In the Gospel reading today we have two statements by St. John the Baptist regarding the identity of Jesus. First, he states that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Second, he testifies that…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Maria Cristina Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.” This could certainly describe the setbacks of so many saints before they finally achieved their heart’s desire. St. Maria Cristina certainly had her share of disappointments and setbacks, but she always began again. Nunc coepi. On May 1,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Henry De Osso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over the centuries, Spain has yielded many saints for the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the fourth century, St. Maginus was martyred. In the twelfth century, there was St. Raymond of Penafort. In addition, the great sixteenth-century Carmelites, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, made matchless contributions to spirituality. In the…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)