Thursday, 15 January 2015

St. Joseph Vaz, a son of Goa

Blog moved..
Visit here for updates including Feast, Novena of St. Joseph Vaz at Old Sancoale Church
January 2018

Please visit new blog for updates, link above

Goa got its first Saint on 14.1.2015
Pope Francis Canonised the Saint in Sri Lanka on 14th January 2015.
On this occasion bells of all the Churches and Chapels of Goa were ringing at 9 am
Here is the tolling of 5 bells of Se Cathedral in Old Goa

Some pics also included in the clip
Cortalim/Sancoale Road Gate, Cortalim Church, Its main door, Jose Vaz Sanctuary, Benaulim house (Maternal), well, Benaulim Church, Sancoale House (Paternal), Oratory, Jackfruit tree, Sanctuary, Spring, Cruz dos Milagre Church (Old Goa), Oratory new and old, Pez, Velsao Church Square Statue, Pez (again), Vasco Church square shrine,

Cortalim Ferry statue, Old Sancoale Church, Golden bell ringing and Statue from Se Cathedral

In the beginning, the background bells ringing are of Bom Jesus Basilica and St. Cajetan

 Cortalim Church DOOR that used to open miraculously to welcome the Saint in the middle of the night
Benaulim House where the Saint was born
Benaulim Church where the Saint was Baptised
Sancoale house where the Saint lived and brought up
Jackfruit tree older than the Saint on which he used to climb down to visit the Cortalim Church in the night and the church doors were automatically opening
Cruz dos Milagres / Oratory where the Saint resided as priest
Pez or Kanji (Rice gruel) on which the Saint lived on (as main meal)
Old Sancoale Church façade. It was in this church in August 1677 that the Patron of Goa, St. Joseph Vaz, wrote his famed "Letter of Bondage" wherein he dedicated his life to Mother Mary.
In 1834 a mysterious fire destroyed the Church and only  facade is left standing. Includes a view from Zuari bridge

The Saint was born and brought up in Goa and spent his later life  as priest or missionary in Sri Lanka.
Born in Benaulim, Goa on 21 April 1651 and died in Kandy,  Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on 16 January 1711.

There we met an elderly man seating in the veranda  in his armchair.
The people who live here are not related to the saint
They or their ancestors bought the house from the original owners


Benaulim, Goa
Blessed Joseph Vaz , the third of the six children of
Christopher Vaz and Maria de Miranda, was born on 21st April 1651 at Pulvaddo,
Benaulim at his maternal house, here

Picture of  young Rev. Fr. Joseph Vaz  (from the wall of the main hall)
Nascido nesta casa
Statue of Blessed Joe Vaz in front – Main Road

a drinking water well in the compound
(infront of the house towards the road)
BENAULIM:  St John the Baptist Church (1581) 

The Patron of Goa, the Apostle of Kanara and Sri Lanka)

25 facts about the Saint Joseph Vaz

by Fr. Romualdo Robin Rodrigues

1. Joseph Vaz was born on a Friday (21st April 1651*Benaulim-Goa), baptised on a Friday and died on a Friday (16th January 1711*Kandy-Sri Lanka).

Saint's Benaulim House

2. The day Joseph Vaz was born, Cristovam Vaz, his father saw a star in the Sky during mid-day and wrote in his personal diary that his son would become a great man.

3. The Doors of Cortalim Church, the neighbouring church, opened on its own when he went to visit the Blessed Sacrament during the Nights from his paternal home at Sancoale. As a young boy he was called “the little saint” in his Paternal and Maternal Village. He recited the rosary on his way to the Church and the school.

4. He wrote “the Letter of Captivity “ or “ the Deed of Bondage “to Mother Mary on 5th August 1677.The first letter ever written to Mother Mary by a priest soon after his ordination, whereby, he dedicated his life to the Mother of Jesus.
Old Sancoale Church - see pic, Church Façade
In 1834 a mysterious fire destroyed the Church and only  façade is left standing.

5. He resolved to eat kanji (Rice broil) for his food (the food of the poor) throughout his life. He rarely even ate this meagre meal.

6. After returning from South kanara, having brought peace between the warring factions of the propaganda and padroado, he started the first indigenous order in Asia, the “Milagristas “or the “Oratorians”. The oratorians served the Church of Sri Lanka and other countries for 150 years.

Pic: The Oratory, Old Goa at Cruz Dos Milagres or Boa Vista hillock

7. When he got the permission to go to Sri Lanka, his long awaited call, he dressed as a coolie, a real beggar; he wore a lungi or a loin cloth around his waist and entered Sri Lanka under disguise as no priest was allowed on this Island for 30 years. He was wheatish brown in colour and that is why he could easily slip into the Island. The Dutch persecuted the Roman Catholic Church for 30 endless years.

8. He hid the Mass-Kit under his loincloth and wore a rosary round his neck. He later built the first church in Sri Lanka and dedicated it to Mother Mary.

9. He worked alone in Sri Lanka for 10 years and gave life to the persecuted Church .The next 14 years he was accompanied by the Goan oratorians. He learnt their culture, sang their songs, built their own local Church, he never imposed the western Church on the faithful. Sri Lanka is now divided in 12 dioceses and has Eleven Bishops.

 10. He baptised, catechised and built 300 chapels, churches and especially built homes for the old, sick and the needy next to the Churches.

11. He always kept a sack of Rice to be distributed after Mass to the poor. And that sack was never empty! He loved the poor. He did all he could for the Poor and the needy that came to him.

12. Established lay leaders, catechists, the “Muppus “and “Annavis”, small human communities, inculturation, that too much before the Vatican II. A man who thought ahead of his times.

13. Disguised as a Baker man, dhobi, coolie, servant, businessman, porter, fisherwoman, etc served the hidden church of Sri Lanka (The Catacombs) for the fear of being caught by the Dutch. He was a proteus, a master of disguise. No one could ever catch him. God protected him. He worked during the nights by the light of the Silvery moon. A Letter addressed to his nephew Deacon says “Be like the moon, face JESUS ☼THE SUN”

14. Imprisoned in Sri Lanka as a Portuguese spy for 2 years, he was dragged into the City of Kandy bound in chains.

15. He issued a command over snakes that they would never bite a priest. To date, a snake in Sri Lanka has bitten no priest. He loved animals.

16. While in Prison he learnt their languages, he translated the Catechism books in Tamil and Sinhalese, wrote the Stations of the Cross in the languages of Sri Lanka and taught his companion John all that was required to become a priest. By his exemplary life he won the heart of the Buddhist king and all the religious communities.

17. When the drought ravaged the Island, he was requested by the Buddhist King to pray for rain. He performed the “miracle of Rain” in Kandy; the Buddhists record this Miracle in their Archives. It rained everywhere except on Blessed Joseph Vaz and the Altar that he had built to pray for rain! He is highly revered by all religions.

18. Served selflessly as a Nurse, Cook, Doctor, and Gravedigger to all the communities during the epidemic of small pox, and buried 10-12 bodies per day. The King abandoned his Kingdom and lived in the Jungle for the fear of contracting the disease. He was an epitome of Love. He shone in charity during this dreaded disease.

19. He never kept any money with him: always depended on God and his fellowmen. He had nothing to owe! Nothing to call this own! He wore only one cassock, which was patched and stitched all over.

20. He was Called “Samanasu Swami”, the “angelic priest “by the people of Sri Lanka. He stands as the First and Singular missionary of the East to mission to the east.

21. He educated his neighbour and companion John who accompanied him in Sri Lanka and requested the Superior of the Oratorians to ordain him a priest. John, who later returned to Goa, was ordained a priest! (The first Dalit-priest)

22. He always slept on a mat on the floor. He never sought glory. He was humble to the core.

23. God blessed him with 30 years of priesthood, 24 fruitful years in the Sri Lankan Vineyard. He walked bare foot throughout his life (59 years 6 months, 26 days) or rather 60 years. He was wiry-thin and walked through the jungles, etc like the wind.

24. He died in an odour of Sanctity on 16th January 1711, on the day and the time that he had foretold! Before dying he spoke and advised those gathered around him in Sinhala “Hardly you will be able to do at the time of death what you have not done during your life” The Buddhist King requested that the body lay in state for three days. Thousands poured in the Church to pay their last respects to the great Missionary that Goa gave to the Universal Church. Nobody knows now where his body lay buried. Perhaps he does not want to be recognized! Such is his humility.

25. He sent the Crucifix given to him by the Pope Clement XI to Goa, now preserved in the Oratory Room of Blessed Joseph Vaz at Sancoale, Goa, India. The only relic in India. The Oratory Room (over 400 yrs old) is being visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world. The jackfruit tree that he played under, climbed down from the window, to visit the Blessed Sacrament in Cortalim Church quietly during the nights still stands witness to the Holy Son of Goa

Pic of Oratory room, Sancoale

The Saint's Paternal House etc at Sancoale
watch latest video 16.1.15
from archive
That was the first time I see the  400 year old house/Oratory
That was the first time I see the equally old Jackfruit tree.
Always wanted to see the both and I saw it at last.
How many time I (and you)  may have  passed by  this road?
The statue of Blessed Joseph Vaz praying to mother Mary at his house at Sancoale - Goa
The Oratory Room is being visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world
Pectoral cross
The chained cross the Saint wore around his neck

Over 400 years old Oratory
the back of the oratory
The equally old  jackfruit tree that  Blessed Jose Vaz played under, climbed down from the window, to visit the Blessed Sacrament in Cortalim Church quietly during the nights still stands witness to the Holy Son of Goa.
about  350 years old jackfruit tree and still bear fruits
 This pic taken on 29.3.17 from a moving car

Beautiful window Pic (from the Sanctuary)


 Talking Photos: Blessed Joseph Vaz from Sancoale/cortalim

Blessed Jose Vaz

Cortalim Church  where Fr. Jose Vas visited at night etc

Though this Main door

Fr. Jose Vaz Sanctuary/Church –Sancoale Feast on 16th January held here

old  Sancoale Church (Our Lady of Health) that was destroyed by fire

New Sancoale Church (Our Lady of Health) of 1839

5 years after the old Church destroyed by fire
Extended / renovated Church inaugurated 21 May 2016

the Spring / Fatima grotto opp Sanctuary

Old Goa

The cross of Miracle (Khuris Milagre) Church (1619)

is one of the many monuments at Old Goa.
This church is located on a hillock with a beautiful view and hence ‘Boa Vista’ hill.
 Blessed Joseph Vaz resided  here when in Goa around 1680s.

Today is the feast of the Church of the Cross of Miracles (Khuris Milagre)
 at Boa Vista Hill, Old Goa ( 23rd Feb, 2010)


Some Pics

Convent / Oratory / Monastery



The pic of the Renovated Church that we already clicked ..

These pics taken while going back, from the slope (away from the Church)

the Church on feast day Feb 2010

 Convent /Oratory

Video – 2010


Spiritual Renewal Centre

Cruz dos Milagres, Monte de Boa, Old Goa

Phase I

Renovated Church
Inaugurated 21.4.13


Inside church

Phase II & III inaugurated on 17.11.14

Mass was held here


Phase II (new wing)

Spiritual Renewal Centre consisting of air-conditioned hall


Phase III

Renovated old Building of the Oratorian Fathers

where St. Jose Vaz was  also residing



Phase IV (Work in progress)

Rooms and Dormitories






Video – 18.11.14

Old Sancoale Church
Talking Photos: Old SancoaleWhile crossing the Zuari Bridge Agassaim-Cortalim, many of you may have seen this church like structure on the river bank towards Chicalim/Vasco.The same can be viewed both day and night from the bridge.
Today we went to see there, we could not see anywhere a brief history or description of the old church there.  There was just one board saying ' Protected monument under section.....'Although it appears from the distance that this is a complete church but infact what one can see there is the actual remains of the front portion of the church facade (The ruined church of Our Lady of Health?)However, there is another church (new Church ?) also O/L of Health on the main road towards verna-Birla by bass road, past Pe. Jose Vaz Sanctuary.Can any one throw lights on this ruined Church at old Sancoale?Thank you.Check this view from Zuari Bridge - Old Sancoale Church -
normal -
Zoom in now check Zuari Bridge view from Old Sancoale Church

The remains of the  old Church (Our lady of Health)

Destroyed by fire

the Church with views from 4 angles (all  in one)

How to get there? At the Cortalim junction, take Vasco bound Road, drive about 2 minutes or so till you find a road to your right (There is 'Protected Monument ' sign board). Enter the road and drive straight another minute which will end at this old church. One can go by bus too. Take Vasco bound local KTC bus from Margao or Panjim and get down on the main road near bakery (second stop from the Cortalim junction) and from there walk about 10 minutes. There is a small restaurant Mendes  (not very far from the church) which is famous for sea food. If you do go there let me also know pl.

Video: Saint's ancestral House at Sancoale

Video: A tiatr Song on Bl Joseph Vaz
by Agnelo de Dabolim

Feast day pics 16.1.15
Fr. Jose Vaz praying before Our Lady
Oratory room etc
inside Oratory room
The Crucifix given to St Joseph Vaz by the Pope Clement XI
preserved in here Oratory Room
Pectoral cross worn by the Saint
Churchill Alemao
A view from inside
Feast, Mass, Devotees, Choir, priest
Jackfruit tree etc
Rev. Fr. Faustino De Souza
Founder of congregation of the Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth
Monument outside the Sanctuary, road side

On the road
A view though Window
flowers in the garden
Collection of sacred leaves / Tree bark skin?
A plane flying above
At the Sanctuary
Spring, Fatima grotto
Feast Fair, feri
Katt Konngam
chonne grams
Tamonn Copper wares pots
KTC shuttle bus to ferry devotees from car park etc

Latest Video 16.1.15

Facebook page on Cortalim and Sancoale

No comments: