in the Navhind Times edition of January 17, 1994)
PANJIM, JAN 16: Sancoale, the ancestral village of Fr Joseph Vaz
make no impression to someone visiting it for the first time as it is no
different from any other village in Goa.
Even the paternal house of the Roman Catholic saint to be, who has done the Goans and the rest of humanity, especially the Sri
Lankans, proud, has no extraordinary look to it.
The house which faces the main road is a mud
and laterite structure painted white and green on the exterior and resembles
any other ancestral house in the village, except for a majestic jackfruit tree which is considered
to be sacred by the faithful
Even the original room of Fr
Jose Vaz still has a pristine look to it
with a confessional and a tabernacle preserved in their originality.
It also contains a message sent by the Bishop of Jaffna in 1936 assuring
that the cause of sainthood will be taken up for good as soon as possible.
In the room facing this one are a series of
greenish- tinge oil paintings depicting
events in the life of Fr Vaz., The paintings date back to 1936 and are the
works of Sister Josephine , the co-foundress of the order.
A portion of the floor in the adjacent room
is broken as devotees believe that even
the floor where Fr Vaz treaded on is sacred. Many come here to pick up a
sprinkling of the cement powder beneath
or a piece of tile in the hope that it will cure some of their ailments.
At present the ancestral house is managed by
the Holy Family of Nazareth sisters who have been looking after its maintenance
The Holy Family of Nazareth sisters have even
varnished bits of bark from the jackfruit tree which they hand over to visitors. Inside the compound is a two-storey pink
building –- the Centre of the Holy Family
of Nazareth Sisters--- which undertakes among its activities , caring
for orphaned girls.
When we reached there, the nuns and girls
were actively engaged in gardening and planting ornamental plant in open
spaces. Some were sweeping the portion
or road outside the residence.
The nuns, had once taken to growing grapes
and a parched vineyard can be seen near
a well on the rear side of the house.
One of the long-term projects undertaken for
the preparation of the beatification in the state is the renovation of the Sanctuary of St
Felipe Neri , Sancoale built in 1909 to encourage devotion to the evangelizer
to be done at a cost of Rs 15 lakhs for which donations are already pouring in.
This includes rebuilding of the altar which was constructed in 1940. Once renovated the sanctuary will be rededicated to Fr Jose Vaz.
sanctuary was spruced up in connection with the death anniversary of the patron
saint of Sancoale which falls on January 16 and is celebrated as a feast by the
villagers. Stalls and pandals are being erected for the feast mass which will
be concelebrated by the Archishop Patriarch Raul Gonsalves.