Mangaluru, Jan 15, 2015: The three-day celebrations organised at the Mudipu shrine to commemorate the canonization of Blessed Fr Joseph Vaz, commenced on January 14, Wednesday. Blessed Fr Joseph Vaz, a Goan priest was canonized and raised to the Altar of Sainthood by Pope Francis in Colombo on Wednesday.
On the first day of the celebrations at Mudipu shrine, Rev. Fr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore celebrated a festal mass along with Fr Gregory D’Souza, Parish Priest of the shrine and other priests. Earlier, the Bishop along with the chief guest, UT Khader, State Health Minister was escorted to the church premises accompanied by the Brass Band.
In his homily, the Bishop spoke about the services rendered by Blessed Joseph Vaz to humanity. It is a matter of immense pride and honour for all the faithful here that he has been canonized as a saint, the Bishop said and urged the people to follow the ideals of Saint Joseph Vaz. “Saint Joseph Vaz had always helped the poor and took care of the sick,” the Bishop further added.
A lunch was also arranged for the devotees as part of the celebrations.
Fr Joseph Vaz who was born in Goa on April 21, 1651 became a priest in 1676 and served different parishes in Goa initially. Later he served as priest in Kundapur, Basrur, Honnavar, Mulki, Mangaluru and Ullal Panir. While serving as parish priest of Panir Church he survived an attempt on his life in 1684.It is also believed that he performed miracles in Mudipu hills following which it was known as Miracle Hills of Mudipu. The Mudipu Shrine is the first church in India dedicated to him.