Saint Joseph Vaz was born on April 21 1651 AD, in Benaulim, Goa, Portuguese Empire. He lived as an Oratorian Priest and a missionary in Sri Lanka. He died on January 16 1711 AD, aged 59, in Kandy, Kingdom of Kandy. His feast day is celebrated on January 16.
Saint Joseph Vaz Biography
|Date of Birth||April 21 1651|
|Country of Birth||India in Asia|
|Matrimony/Holy Orders||Saints who were Bishops|
|Profession||Oratorian Priest and a Missionary|
|Place of Work||Sri Lanka|
|Date of Death||January 16 1711|
|Place of Death||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|Feast Day||January 16|
|Beatification||Beatified January 21 1995 by Pope John Paul II at Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Canonization||Canonized on January 14 2015 by Pope Francis (papal confirmation of plenary session sentence)|
|Patron Saint of||Parish of Wacalhotte, Aluthwewa|
Saint Joseph Vaz’s Life History
Joseph Vaz was born on April 21 1651 AD, in Benaulim, Goa, Portuguese Empire, as the third born in a family of six children, from Cristovao Vaz and Maria de Miranda. He was baptized when he was eight years old at a local parish by Father Jacinto Pereira.
He received his education fro an Elementary School in Sancoale, then stidied rhetorics and humanities at the Jesuit college of Saint Paul and studied Philosophy and Theology at the St Thomas Aquinas Academy of the Dominicans in Goa. He was an exemplary student all through, impressing all his instructors and his fellow classmates.
Joseph got ordained deacon of Goa Archdiocese by apostolic Vicar Custodio in 1675 and ordained priest the following year by Antonio Brandao, Archbishop of Gao.
He soon started dedicating himself to a life of poverty, even walking barefoot. He grew to become an esteemed preacher and confessor and he was said to have consecrated himself as the slave of Mary, in 1677.
Joseph traveled to Canara, where a conflict between two factions of catholic had arose; between the Padroado authorities and the authorities of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide. This was due to the appointment of De castro as Vicar Forane of Canara by Pope Clement X, which was not recognized by the preceding Padroado Archbishop.
As the situation was highly explosive, Joseph, with humility appealed to both sides using the unity of the people of the Catholic faith. He persuaded them that the Catholic Church should bot be divided and meticulously resolved the conflict. After this, he poured himself into missionary work, building new churches and building small schools in the villages there.
Some men against Christianity, planned to trick him to his death, pleading to him that they needed help healing one of their own. As they embarked on their journey, they attempted to kill him at the top of a hill on the way there but unfortunately for them, Joseph took to his knees while holding his staff and a light appeared, with water gushing forth from where the staff touched the ground, causing the assailants to flee from the scene, according to believers of the time. A shrine is dedicated to him at that very site in Mudipu.
He returned to Goa in 1684, where he preached in villages and joined a group of priests who had resorted to live together in a community, which later came to be the Oratory of St.Philip Neri founded on September 25 1685 and was afterwards elected as the provost of the community.
Joseph traveled around to Mannar, then to Jaffna, where he developed acute dysentery after his difficult travels and his harsh stay in Mannar. Luckily for him and his servant John, they were saved from near death by a kind lady who helped bring them back to their feet. He also was at risk of martyrdom as the cities he traveled to, were mostly under the Dutch control and only accepted Calvinism as their only religion.Villagers who benefited from his ministries, helped him protect his life bu offering him and his servant security and even transporting them to a secluded catholic village called Sillalai. Here, he established his headquarters, sneaking in and out of the village at night to evangelize and returning before dawn
When his life got threatened, they moved to Puttalam and while there, he rebuilt churches and appointed catechists. Eighteen months later, he left for Kandy.
In Kandy, he was imprisoned and kept under observation after an anti-Christ french by the name, Lanerolle, denounced him as a Portuguese spy. The King, Vimaladharmarsya II, realized that Joseph and John, meant no harm and placed them under house arrest. As time went by, Christians sought permission from the king to worship alongside Joseph and John and this led to the re-evaluation of the extent of his freedom, being allowed to then to publicly carry out his faith but not cross the river surrounding the Kingdom. He used to secretly disobey this order, when he went on his escapades to hill people living beyond the river.
Joseph once resulted in a miraculous rain after a long period of drought hit the kingdom of Kandy. He and his companion John, held the kingdom together, while in crisis, after an epidemic of small pox hit the Kingdom, leaving many of them dead. Due to his management of the epidemic, he received acknowledgement from the King and all the people of Kandy that survived the 12 month long epidemic. He and John had healed the sick during this time, they buried all the dead and accommodated those left and abandoned in the streets by their families due to the disease. Due to his kindness, many were curious on the God he served that taught him this great kindness, that led people to be converted into Christianity.
It is said that once, on his way to Puttalam, he crossed the flooded Deduru Oya on foot, with nothing but his staff, a prayer in his mouth and faith in God.
Joseph Vaz lived an exhilarating, yet fulfilling life in the honor of God’s Grace. His missionary works positively affected the futures of many he came across and this made him become recognized as a man who had lived a life full of heroic virtue.
He died on January 16 1711, aged 59 in Kandy.
Saint Joseph Vaz’s Birth
Joseph Vaz was born on April 21 1651 AD, in Benaulim, Goa, Portuguese Empire.
Saint Joseph Vaz’s Death
He died on January 16 1711 AD, aged 59, in Kandy, Kingdom of Kandy.
He was the third born in a family of six children, from Cristovao Vaz and Maria de Miranda.
He received his education fro an Elementary School in Sancoale, then stidied rhetorics and humanities at the Jesuit college of Saint Paul and studied Philosophy and Theology at the St Thomas Aquinas Academy of the Dominicans in Goa.
He lived as an Oratorian Priest and a missionary in Sri Lanka.
Saint Joseph Vaz’s Beatification
He was beatified on January 21 1995, in Galle Face Green, Colombo, Sri Lanka, by Pope John Paul II.
Saint Joseph Vaz’s Canonization
He was canonized on January 14 2015, in Galle Face Green, Colombo, Sri Lanka, by Pope Francis
Saint Joseph Vaz is Venerated in
He is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.
Saint Joseph Vaz’s Feast Day
His feast day is celebrated on January 16.
He is attributed with a miter placed to his side, holding a crucifix, a sun icon and as an Oratorian habit.
Saint Joseph Vaz is the Patron Saint of
He is the patron saint of the Parish of Wacalhotte, in Aluthwewa.