Blessed Joseph Vaz

The Apostle of
Sri Lanka


Healing Memories of the Past
(The most commemorated Apostle of Sri Lanka)

"A Religious Procession"*

Joseph Vaz entered the island of Sri Lanka disguised as a labourer, lived as a beggar and ministered to the orphaned Church in secret.

"The Conquest of Mannar"*




"Treading Rice"*

He worked amidst many dangers as the practice of Catholism was forbidden at the time. He helped those who were in difficulties and tended to the victims of smallpox most of whom were left to die in deserted places.

"The Impaling of Prisoners after the Capture of Batticaloa"*



The examples of Joseph Vaz have enriched the Church in Sri Lanka over the centuries to serve a nation inebriated with compassion, simplicity and austerity dedicatedly nurtured by Buddhist and Hindu cultures

"One Impaled on a Stake"*

"The Collection of Cinnamon"*

The challenge today for the Church in Sri Lanka is to promote peace between two main ethnic groups. Their rivalry costs not only thousands of lives every year but also the continuous tension caused by war and lack of development expells millions of young people from the country.

"An Execution by an Elephant"*


* "
A Historical Relation of Ceylon" by Robert Knox, Pubblished in 1681

Lets pray in the spirit of Joseph Vaz that the people of Sri Lanka be united in the Body of Christ and be open to the healing Love of God.

"The Execution of Conspirators in Jaffna"*




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The pictures above show the state of life in Sri Lanka about the time of Joseph Vaz and are extracted from Ceylon Historical Journal, Vol.6 nos. 1-4, 1956: A Historical Relation of Ceylon by Robert Knox. First published in 1681. [Tisara Prakashakayo,, Maharagama, Sri Lanka.]

Created on 31 Jan. 1999 (Revised on 23 August 1999)