Portuguese India 1951

This set of stamps celebrated the Tercentenary of Father José José Vaz. Stamps of Portuguese Colonies are becoming increasingly popular. Try and seek out postally used stamps in fine used condition or commercially used covers, especially to unusual destinations…

Printed by Litografia de Portugal, Lisbon.

St. Joseph Vaz, CO,(Konkani: Sant Zuze Vaz; Portuguese: São José Vaz; Sinhalese: ශාන්ත ජුසේ වාස් පියතුමා Santha Juse Vaz Piyathuma; Tamil: புனித ஜோசப் வாஸ்), 21 April 1651 – 16 January 1711) was an Oratorian priest and missionary in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon.

Vaz arrived in Ceylon during the Dutch occupation, when the Dutch were imposing Calvinism as the official religion after taking over from the Portuguese. He travelled throughout the island bringing the Eucharist and the sacraments to clandestine groups of Catholics. Later in his mission, he found shelter in the Kingdom of Kandy where he was able to work freely. By the time of his death, Vaz had managed to rebuild the Catholic Church on the island.

As a result of his labors, Vaz is known as the Apostle of Ceylon. On 21 January 1995, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Colombo. He was canonized on 14 January 2015 by Pope Francis in an open-air Mass ceremony at the Galle Face Green in Colombo.

Historical information and image courtesy of Wikipedia.