Five hundred Goans will be granted financial assistance of Rs.12,000 each for a trip to Sri Lanka for the canonisation ceremony of Blessed Joseph Vaz early next year, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said Friday.
Parsekar was speaking during a ceremony held on the state’s 54th Liberation Day here. The ceremony marked Goa’s liberation from 451 years of Portuguese rule.
“The government will provide financial assistance of Rs.12,000 each for 500 devotees as grants to use as air fare to visit Sri Lanka for the canonisation celebrations of Blessed Joseph Vaz which are scheduled in second week of January 2015,” Parsekar.
Vaz was born in Goa April 21, 1651, at a time when the Portuguese were already entrenched in the state for nearly 150 years.
In 1686, Vaz left for Sri Lanka to propagate Catholicism in the Dutch-held nation, where Calvinism, a major Protestant branch, had begun taking root.
His socio-religious contributions in the island country earned him accolades and the title Blessed subsequently. In January, he will be canonised in the presence of Pope Francis. (New Kerala)