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Sri Lankans mark Blessed Joseph Vaz’s death anniversary

January 21, 2011

SRI LANKA: Hundreds of Catholic and Buddhist leaders and laypeople on Jan. 19 celebrated the 300th death anniversary of Blessed Joseph Vaz at a shrine dedicated to him in Galgamuwa village where he lived.

Also known as the Apostle of Ceylon, Blessed Vaz’s work for the local people included catechism, a summary of the Catholic doctrine, meditations on the Way of the Cross and devotions and litanies to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sinhala and Tamil languages.

Blessed Vaz was also called the “second founder of the Church in Sri Lanka” as he helped revive the dying Church in the country.

He was born in 1651 in Goa and ordained a priest in 1676. He lived in Sri Lanka for 24 years since his arrival in 1687. He died on Jan. 16.

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