Continuing the dialogue with leading faiths in India, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda unveiled a portrait of St. Joseph Vaz, the ‘Apostle of Sri Lanka’ at the Apostolic Nunciature, New Delhi in the presence of His Excellency the Most Reverend Leopoldo Girelli, the Apostolic Nuncio to India & Nepal.
St. Joseph Vaz, the great Indian missionary of the Gospel who was born in Goa, India in 1651 rendered an exemplary service to the Catholic community in Sri Lanka.
He had reached the then-Dutch stronghold of Jaffna (north of Sri Lanka) disguised as an itinerant worker in 1687. Since then, St. Joseph Vaz had continued his incomparable service to the Catholics and others until he passed away on 16 January 1711 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
He was canonized on 14 January 2015, by Pope Francis at the Galle Face Green, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The High Commission has made arrangements to present similar portraits of St. Joseph Vaz to the Catholic religious leaders in New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and Mangalore.