Colombo, Sep 13 :
Sri Lanka will get its first saint during a visit by Pope Francis in January next year, media reported Saturday.
Addressing a media briefing at an archbishop’s house, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the canonisation process of Blessed Joseph Vaz is in its final stages, The Island reported.
Blessed Joseph Vaz was from Goa and arrived in Sri Lanka during the Dutch occupation when Catholicism faced several challenges and by the time of his death in Kandy he had managed to rebuild the Catholic church.
Approval from the College of Cardinals would see Blessed Joseph Vaz being elevated to sainthood, he said.
Blessed Joseph Vaz is known as the Apostle of Ceylon and was beatified during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Sri Lanka in 1995.
The theme during Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka will be ‘Abide in Love’.
Pope Francis will arrive in Sr Lanka Jan 13, 2015.
According to media reports, Pope Francis has refused to use a bullet proof vehicle as done by his predecessors when he will visit Sri Lanka.