Make Blessed Joseph Vaz a Saint sign now

Petition To His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Kanara and Sri Lanka, for the 300th anniversary of his death on January 16, 2011

Your Holiness:

We respectfully request Your Holiness and the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to grant our Petition for the Canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Kanara and Sri Lanka, for the 300th death anniversary of Blessed Joseph Vaz on January 16, 2011 or some time during the year of 2011 if that is not possible.

We understand that the Bishops of Sri Lanka are submitting recent miracles to be considered for Blessed Vaz canonization. We respectfully ask His Excellency, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, to consider these miracles speedily so that the Canonization of Blessed Vaz can be acted on in 2011.

If indeed these miracles are still not sufficient to prove his very great sanctity, we ask Your Holiness to consider the fact that Blessed Joseph Vaz lived and died under persecution. Even though he was not killed, this situation of having undergone persecution for the faith qualifies him for the designation of Martyr. We therefore request Your Holiness to consider his canonization without further miracles as a Martyr as St. Maximilien Kolbe was canonized by Pope John Paul II on the grounds that miracles could not be collected during an era of persecution. We humbly ask Your Holiness to consider the uniqueness of the situation of persecution, suppression of his Oratorian Congregation, and the fact that the Catholics of Sri Lanka were cut off from Rome for 140 years, conditions that impeded his Cause. There is no similar situation in India for any other Cause for Canonization that would require this special consideration by Your Holiness.

This Canonization also means much to the native clergy and native members of religious orders. On September 25, 1685, Blessed Joseph Vaz joined a group of native Indian priests and organized them into the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Thus, September 25, 2010 is the three hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding by Blessed Joseph Vaz of the first modern fully native religious Congregation. This Indian Oratory was inspired by his example to keep on doing missionary work in Sri Lanka under persecution, and to work in India, Indonesia, and Madagascar for the 140 years of its existence.

During his lifetime, Blessed Vaz was recognized as a saint by the Buddhist King of Kandy and by Sri Lankans of many faiths. The fact that he worked successfully to re-found the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka in a non-European and non-Christian nation under the protection of a Buddhist King, has special significance in our modern age. His canonization would underline the Churchs and the modern worlds concern for inter-religious dialogue and respect.

We hope that Your Holiness will remember and honor the service of Blessed Joseph Vaz courageous fight for religious freedom under conditions of persecution and martyrdom for his faith during his 300th death anniversary year, by canonizing him.

The undersigned respectfully submit this Petition to Your Holiness,

Joseph Naik Vaz Institute (www.josephnaikvaz.org)
67 Kingston Road, Kensington, California, 94707, U.S.A

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Bianca HicksBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
Vatican

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