In The Tablet, New York (1987) by Msgr. John Condors of the Propagation of the Faith
“Saviour of the Catholic Faith in Sri Lanka, founder of a native religious congregation at a time when such institutions were non-existent, coordinator of a missionary society which supplied Asian missionaries to another Asian country, and capable Church administrator even during times of persecution, Fr. Joseph Vaz holds a very special place in mission history.”
From the book Sages And Saints Of India (1992) English writer, Fr. Roger H. Lesser
When he died …there were 70,000 practicing Catholics.. Of these no less than 30,000 were converts from other religions. Not one had come in through motives other than religious, since Vat had neither money to bribe nor power to influence or entice them.”
Canonize Bl. Joseph Vaz As India And Sri Lanka’s First Catholic Saint!
* The Indian converts of the Archdiocese of Goa have been Catholic since the Portuguese conquered Goa in 1510. They were allowed to have a native clergy and have worked as missionaries for the Portuguese Missions as well as those of the Propaganda Fide for almost half a millennium now. These Indian missionaries have extended the Church in India and other parts of Asia and Africa as no other Third World community has done. Since Indian Independence, most of the Bishops of India and Pakistan have been Indians from Goa, guiding the Church through difficult times.
* Sri Lankan Catholics were also converted by the Portuguese, starting in 1505, and then again by B1. Joseph Vaz. They remained loyal to the Church under 140 years of Dutch persecution, cut off from Rome except for Bl. Joseph Vaz and his native Indian missionaries from Goa.
* These Indian and Sri Lankan Catholics are disappointed and sad that they do not have a canonized Saint while so many Asian and African communities (who did not do such extended missionary work or suffer such persecution) have been given Saints.
* Blessed Joseph Vaz should be canonized as a representative of the missionary work of Indian Catholics and the heroic loyalty under persecution of Sri Lankan Catholics.
Pope John Paul II On The Occasion Of The Beatification
“I came to Sri Lanka above all to honour Bl. Joseph Vaz … Like a star shining in the Asian sky, this great spiritual guide teaches us many lessons about the goodness of the human person and the nobility of our destiny as human beings.” January 21, 1995
Letter To The Holy Father (Sgd.) JAMES CARDINAL LERCARO Archbishop’s House, Bologna (Italy),
1st August 1955. Most Holy Father, Considering the admirable life and virtues of the Servant of God, Joseph Vaz, these words seem applicable: “When he makes himself a guilt-offering, he shall see posterity, shall prolong his life” (Isaias, 52 : 10). For he, treading under foot his most noble lineage, accounted riches and all good things of this earth as naught, that he might win souls to Christ by becoming a devoted brother to the poor and the sick, specially to those stricken with morbid pestilence or those who could count on no human aid. Accordingly, after he had spared neither sweat nor labours in such apostolic charity for 24 years, he went round the whole island of Ceylon and there restored and established the Christian faith, so that he merits to be compared with Xavier, that other apostle of those regions, in his untiring zeal and ardent and extensive labours. His memory is still in veneration among those peoples, who look on him as a man of the highest sanctity endowed with singular virtues. Most Holy Father, it is my conviction that, if the heavenly honours are bestowed on this Servant of God, it will prove to be of very great benefit to the clergy and people of that island and of the whole of India, nay more, he will be chosen as a protector and as an example to be imitated. Since there is every reason to believe that this honour will redound to the good of all nations bound together by fraternal ties under Holy Mother the Church, suppliant at your feet I presume to suggest that you appoint a commission in the Sacred Congregation to look into the introduction of the Cause of the Servant of God. Prostrate at your feet and imploring your Apostolic Blessing.