150 Years of First Christian Saint of India


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 11. 2012           02.00 A.M.

Read a very small news item in the June 09 , 2012 issue of Times of India . It was about St. Gonsalo Garcia , a Christian missionary of Indian origin , who is also the first saint of Indian origin . He was crucified in Japan for propagating Christianity .

It was very shocking to say the least . While reading about St. Gomsalo Garcia , I remember a very tragic and sad case of a Christian missionary Graham Staines , who was murdered , while working in Odisha province of India .

Map of India showing location of Orissa

Map of India showing location of Odisha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Locator map of the state of Odisha, India with...

Locator map of the state of Odisha, India with district boundaries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1999 , an Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines was burnt alive along with his two sons Timothy [ aged 9 ] and Philip [ aged 7 ] , while they were sleeping in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district in Odisha . This was an unfortunate incident and a blot on the SARVA DHARMA SAMABHAV [ All Religions Are Equal ] credentials of India . No sane person can justify communal violence of any kind . Every one condemned the incident and appealed for peace and immediate halt of attacks against Christians . But seculars and left – liberal intellectuals pounced on right – wingers and nationalists for the gruesome murder . They still throw venom on nationalist forces for gruesome Graham Staines murder . Though they conveniently forget about Swami Lakshmanananda’s murder .

English: Graham Staines and family

Graham Staines and family (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In their eagerness and zeal to condemn the nationalist forces , these seculars and left – liberals forget that Dara Singh was convicted in 2009 for leading the rampaging mob against Christians . In 2011 the Supreme Court of India upheld life imprisonment for Dara Singh . Justice prevailed , rule of law upheld and in a predominantly Hindu nation , Gaham Staines , an Australian Christian missionary got justice .

English: Cross

Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While reading the article of Times of India , I was pained that St.Gonsalo Garcia was crucified in Japan in 1597 . Seculars and left – liberals are not that vociferous in condemnation in this case as they are in the case of India . Why Japan is not condemned the way India is always condemned for the communal violence ?

Gonsalo Garcia was born in Gass village of Vasai , Mumbai in 1557 . At that time Vasai was under Portuguese rule and was known as Bassein . Since childhood , Gonsalo had a strong desire to become a Jesuit priest . At the age of 15 , he came in contact with another Jesuit priest Sebastio Gonsalves and went to Japan and worked in his mission . For a brief period he moved to Philippines but later on returned to Japan , joined Franciscan order and started preaching Christianity .

Local Buddhist monks got envious and they forced the Japanese authorities to arrest all Christian missionaries including Gonsalo Garcia . They were sentenced to death and crucified on a hill in Nagasaki on February 05 , 1597 .

In Christian world they are known as ” Nagasaki Martyrs ” . On June 08 , 1862 Pope Pius IX declared them saints . Christians of Mumbai are celebrating 150 years of canonization of St . Gonsalo Garcia this year .

English: Pope Pius IX standing in front of his...

Pope Pius IX standing in front of his papal tiara. fairuse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When anti Christian riots happened in some parts of India , specially in Odisha , seculars and left – liberal intellectuals lambasted nationalists and right – wingers .Why are they silent in this case . Though the incident happened in 1597 but it did  happen . And it is against all the accepted norms of secular society .

I , at least , deeply condemn the brutal murder of St. Gonsalo Garcia and hail the judicial system of my country . Graham Staines and his two sons got justice and Dara Singh is languishing in prison for his crime .

English: The supreme court of india. Taken abo...

supreme court of india. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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