Mangaluru: Huge Crowds Attend the 3rd Day Celebrations Commemorating Sainthood of Fr Joseph Vaz at Mudipu

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Mangaluru: Mudipu Church/Shrine built on picturesque Mudipu hill is a place of great importance which has a special history behind it. Fr Joseph Vaz, born in Goa in the year 1651, April 21, worked in the Diocese of Mangalore from the year 1681 to 1684 and reached Mudipu preaching the Good News. He went house to house teaching catechism and serving the poor and the marginalized. This brought great joy to the people and was eagerly looking forward to his coming. But some people were against him and were trying to destroy him and his work. The place where they tried to harm him and kill him for his faith is marked even today upon the hill at Mudipu. Even today the faithful visit this place with great reverence and devotion.


Later Fr. Joseph Vaz went to Sri Lanka and died there. For his virtues and the kind of life he led, he was made venerable in 1989 and declared “Blessed” in 1995. This morning he was canonized a saint and given the honor of the Altar, which was a great and joyous day for the people of Mudipu. A 300-year-old aspiration of Catholics in Sri Lanka, Goa, Kanara, Kundapur, Karwar, Mudipu/Mangaluru and elsewhere for declaration/crowning of Blessed Joseph Vaz by Pope Francis as a Saint of the universal church became a reality in Sri Lanka this morning, Wednesday 14 January 2015 at 9am. The Pope canonized the illustrious Goan priest at a Eucharistic mass in Colombo this morning in what many regard as an official stamp to the sainthood already declared by the people even during his life time.

To commemorate the canonization of Father Joseph Vaz, Mudipu Church/Shrine had organized three days of celebrations on this joyous occasion- on the first day, 14 January, Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’souza celebrated the festal mass at 10.30am at the church, along with parish priest Fr Gregory D’souza, Fr Peter Noronha and many other priests. Prior to the mass, Minister UT Khader had graced the function. On the second day, 15 January, the solemn Mass was celebrated by Fr Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu- Vicar General- Diocese of Mangaluru, along with Fr Gregory D’Souza- Parish priest of Mudipu Church and other clergy.

Today, 16 January being the third day of the celebrations, the solemn festal Mass was celebrated at 10.30am by Bernard Blasius Moras- Archbishop of Bengaluru, along with Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza- Bishop of Mangaluru, Fr Denis Moras Prabhu-Vicar General-Diocese of Mangaluru, Fr Gregory D’Souza- Parish priest-Mudipu Church, Fr Alwyn D’Cunha- Parish priest-Katipalla Church, Fr Andrew D’Souza and other clergy.

The Mass was followed by a stage programme, where the Bishops, priests were joined on the stage by Ex-Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, MLA J R Lobo, and other VIPs. The various dignitaries on the dais addressing the crowd spoke about the journey and life of Fr Joseph Vaz, and urged the devotees to follow the footsteps of Saint Vaz and lead a good Christian and spiritual life .The stage programme was followed by a sumptuous lunch. A cultural programme is arranged for this evening.

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