Tags: pope francis | joseph vaz | canonized

Pope Francis: Joseph Vaz Canonized as Sri Lanka's First Saint

Image: Pope Francis: Joseph Vaz Canonized as Sri Lanka's First Saint
The statue of Joseph Vaz is pictured during his canonization mass in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on January 14, 2015. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 03:13 PM

During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis canonized the country's first saint, 17th-century missionary Joseph Vaz, and paid a visit to a Buddhist temple.

More than a half million people attended the Wednesday morning mass in the country’s capital, Colombo, where Vaz was canonized, The Associated Press reported.

Vaz, who died in 1711, worked in secret so he wouldn’t be arrested by Calvinist colonial rulers. He is believed to have brought rain to central and eastern Sri Lanka during a drought, the AP said.

The pope praised Vaz in a tweet.



Vaz also created a network of priests and converted about 30,000 people to Catholicism, NPR reported.

Pope Francis call Vaz a model of reconciliation and tolerance, Reuters reported.

During his visit to a Buddhist temple, the pope said that religions must unite to heal the country's wounds from the war between Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamils.

"The pope listened with great respect" as the monks were singing and praying, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, according to Reuters.

About 7 percent of Sri Lankans, or about 1 million people, are Christian, while 70 percent are Buddhist, 13 percent are Hindus, and 10 percent are Muslims, the BBC reported.

Pope John Paul II was boycotted by Buddhist leaders during a visit to Sri Lanka 20 years ago.

The country faced 26 years of civil war that ended in 2009. Deep divisions remain in the country. Elections in the country passed peacefully last week, and Maithripala Sirisena took office as president on Friday, replacing Mahinda Rajapaksa.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis canonized the country's first saint, 17th-century missionary Joseph Vaz, and paid a visit to a Buddhist temple.
pope francis, joseph vaz, canonized
282
2015-13-14
Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 03:13 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved