Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao Releases Biography of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Kanara
Archbishop releases book on blessed Joseph VazNT News Desk
Panaji, April 27: A biography of blessed Joseph Vaz entitled De Goa a Ceilco: Saga de um Caminheiro Infatigavel (From Goa to Ceylon: Saga of a Tireless Wayfarer), by Pedro Correia Afonso (1892-1965), was released at the hands of Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, at St John the Baptist Church, Benaulim, recently. Addressing the congregation at the end of the solemn mass held to install the parish council, the Archbishop reminded the parishioners that, by the designs of Divine Providence, they were assembled in the church where the protagonist was baptized 355 years ago. It was from here that he took the torch of the Christian faith to Kanara and Ceylon, he added.
Archbishop Ferrao recalled the trying conditions under which Blessed Vaz exercised his apostolate in the island country. He would traverse the island of Ceylon in search of Christians, who practised their religion clandestinely, gathering them in small communities, and never forgetting to train one or two lay leaders among them before seeking newer pastures, he said.
He also appealed to the publishers of the book, Third Millennium of Panaji, to have the work translated into Konkani and English, for the benefit of the larger public. Earlier, in his review of the book, Fr Mario Saturnino Dias appreciated the author’s lucid style. He spoke at length on the traits of blessed Vaz as a missionary, stressing that he raised a people of God rooted in the local culture, a pioneering method commonly adopted by the Church in the world today. Mr Joaquim Correia Afonso welcomed the gathering and gave a vote of thanks.