QUEZON City, Nov. 26, 2014—The people of Sri Lanka are just as busy preparing to host Pope Francis, who is due to visit the island-country ahead of the Philippines.
In an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, Sri Lankan priest Fr. Navaji Augustine of the Diocese of Trincomalee, shared that besides meeting the pope himself, what fuels the excitement of his countrymen is the expected canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz in Colombo.
“We also in the Church are preparing for the papal visit. I talked to our bishop and … they are ready for the visit … This was most expected thing from all the Catholic Sri Lankan population, because right from the beginning we were thinking also of the canonization that will take place,” he said
According to Navaji, who is currently a graduating student-priest in Rome’s Pontificio Collegio Filippino, as well as a lecturer on Christianity in a university in Sri Lanka, his compatriots look up to Blessed Joseph Vaz as a pride of their country.
“We are happy because we are having our first local saint from Sri Lanka. We are proud of him, the first one to be canonized from our country,” he said.
With the election season nearing, the priest confirmed the bishops of Sri Lanka are already making arrangements with government officials to ensure local Catholics can freely move about to attend Mass and other papal activities in line for Pope Francis’ forthcoming visit. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCPNews)