Mumbai, August 14: The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Milinda Moragoda who is on a two-day official visit to the State of Maharashtra unveiled a portrait of St. Joseph Vaz, the ‘Apostle of Sri Lanka’ at the Archbishop’s House in Mumbai in the presence of Archbishop of Bombay, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias today (14).
The High Commissioner and the Archbishop of Bombay had an exchange of views pertaining to the close religious ties between Sri Lanka and India and particularly on the ways and means to promote people to people contacts through interactions between the Catholic communities in the two countries.
Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Mumbai Dr. Valsan Vethody was also present on this occasion.
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 presented similar portraits of St. Joseph Vaz to the Catholic religious leaders in New Delhi, and has planned to present portraits of the Saint to the Chennai, and Mangalore Catholic religious leaders as well.