Trancemedia, will be conducting a concert titled “Liberate Your Spirit” on 16th January from 6 pm onwards in the compound of St. Andrew’s Church at Goa Velha in a bid to not only revive Blessed Joseph Vaz’ preaching but also as tribute to this great son of Goa whose beatification is now imminent.
Born at Benaulim on 21st April 1651, Blessed Joseph Vaz was a pious child who opted for priesthood and was ordained in 1681 at a tender age of 25. After carrying out the priestly duties in Kanara for three years, he returned to Goa and joined the Congregation of the Holy Cross of Miracles.
However, as he was fired with the zeal to preach the Lord’s word to those really in need of it, he joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri which was sending missionaries to Sri Land and in 1687 travelled to that country at a time when Catholics were persecuted there, disguised as a labourer.
In Sri Lanka Blessed Joseph Vaz worked at Jaffna for two years and then went to Puttalam from where he travelled to Kandy where he worked for 20 years. While in Kandy he was arrested being suspected of being a Portuguese spy in the land under the Dutch dominion but was released subsequently.
It was when he was in Kandy that he compiled the Sinhalese-Portuguese vocabulary that helped many Goans travelling to Sri Lanka and also prepared Catholic literature for Sri Lankan in their own language.
Besides his work in truly trying conditions including preaching the word of God in areas where Catholics were banned, Blessed Joseph Vaz is also credited with a lot of miracles. The yeomen service rendered by him and his followers during the pestilence in Kandy by taking care of the sick and interring the dead was even appreciated by King Wimaladharma who then ruled Sri Lanka.
Blessed Joseph Vaz died on 16th January 1711 and was buried in the Church of Our Lady at Kandy which he himself had built. Unfortunately, during the persecution of Catholics and their religion, this church was razed and has not been traced till date.
Although the first proposal for beatification for this great soul was made in 1737, it was only on 21st January 1996 that Pope John Paul II proclaimed him as Blessed Joseph Vaz at an impressive ceremony held in the Presidential Secretariat Square at Colombo.
Given the fact that this year is the 300th death anniversary of Blessed Joseph Vaz, it is believed that the Vatican will beatify him and it is to mark this occasion that the concert is being held on his death anniversary at Goa Velha.
The concert is aimed at liberating Goa from the evils like increasing crime, rapes, drug abuse, prostitution and addictions that have descended upon the land particularly due to the boom in tourism industry.
Two bands which are charismatic groups namely Faith from Goa, Yeshua from Mumbai will be performing at the concert. Besides, Benny Prasad who has created a record for the fastest person to travel to 245 countries will also perform at this concert. The concert will have songs aimed at helping people give up their addictions and other evils adopted by them that takes them away from the path of the Lord.