Joseph Vaz, CO,(Tamil: புனித ஜோசப் வாஸ் , Konkani: Bhagivont Zuze Vaz, Sinhala: Santha Juse Vaz Piyathuma, Portuguese: Santo José Vaz), 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 has imposed 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.
Priest and missionary
|Born||21 April 1651
Benaulim, Goa, Portuguese India, Portuguese Empire
|Died||16 January 1711 (aged 59)
Kandy, Kingdom of Kandy
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church
(India, Sri Lanka and the Congregation of the Oratory)
|Beatified||21 January 1995, Galle Face Green, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||14 January 2015, Galle Face Green, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Pope Francis|
|Major shrine||St. Joseph Vaz Shrine,
Mudipu, Bantwal, Karnataka, India
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