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The Joseph Naik Vaz Institute celebrates its 40th year in existence this year. For these many years, under the leadership of Filomena Saraswati Giese, we printed and distributed literature about the life of St. Joseph Vaz to make him better known. We collected signatures from devotees in India, Pakistan, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and the Middle East for Petitions to the Pope for the Canonization of St. Joseph Vaz, as well as making Novenas, Masses, and public events In California, India, and Rome.
We also petitioned the Bishops Conferences of India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan and obtained the support of individual Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops, for our long term efforts to get the Beatification and Canonization of St. Joseph Vaz.
The Postulator for the Beatification, Fr. Quintus Perera, documented our efforts in the Positio Historica. This is the required historical account of the life and proof of devotion for the Beatification or Canonization of a saint.
During the last critical stage of the Cause when Pope Francis was deciding whether to approve the canonization, the new Postulator, Rev. Dr. Thomas Klosterkamp, O.M.I., submitted the history of our activities to the Sacred Congregation of the Saints as evidence that there was international devotion to him that extended beyond the local devotion in Goa and Sri Lanka. He documented our efforts in the final Positio Historica for the canonization to be approved.
Thanks to these efforts, the Sacred Congregation for the Saints officially agreed that St. Joseph Vaz was indeed a Saint of the universal Church. Pope Francis then canonized him as Goa and Sri Lanka’s first canonized native saint during his official visit to Sri Lanka in January 2015.