Most Holy Apostolic Father, His Holiness Rohan Lalith Aponso celebrated his 54th Birth Anniversary on 02nd February 2011. He has spent precisely more than half of his journey of life that means he has spent 36 years as an Apostle in the Vineyard of Lord Jesus Christ for the well being of all the people in the world.
His foremost endeavor is to make the society, a society of willing to gather merits and fear to commit sins. Therefore, his services were spread not only in Sri Lanka but also all over the world. He is loved by all the people devoid of any differences and he has also not fallen into the lowest category of forcibly converting people who believe in other faiths, into Christianity by deceitful ways and means for the sole purpose of expanding his share. Therefore, he is loved by those who have faiths in other religions. This country Sri Lanka is a Buddhist Country. 80% of its people are Buddhists. “Buddhist Newspapers” in this Buddhist Country, were publishing articles about him and were praising him and most probably, pictures of Most Holy Apostolic Father could be the only pictures published in “Buddhist Newspapers” about a person who is dressed in cassock.
People with various religious faiths come to him weekly. They have sought his advices for the last several years for the betterment of their lives. From the very first day they started to reach Our Lady of Katunayake’s Shrine where he resides, they came to him having faith in their own religions and when they were returning from the Shrine of Our Lady of Katunayake also they were returning having faith in their own religions. He did not influence them any day to change their religions and to become Christians. He also did not make any deceitful ways and means compelling them to convert into Christianity.
Most Holy Apostolic Father, His Holiness Rohan Lalith Aponso, who resides in the Shrine of Our Lady of Katunayake is a gleaming example to all Christian clergy who holds various positions and who belongs to various Christian Churches which are scattered all over the world. There are Buddhist personnel among those who work voluntarily for him in the Apostolic See Press Office which I hold the position of the Director. There are also Buddhist personnel in the Apostolic Security Service which is dedicated only to Most Holy Apostolic Father. What makes them to work voluntarily for Most Holy Apostolic Father? What is the reason? The reason is they see and they feel how he is dauntlessly guiding the society to make it a society of willing to gather merits and fear to commit sins. Unfortunately most of the Christians do not see it or do not feel it.
Out of the whole world it could be seen only at the feet of Most Holy Apostolic Father that people who come to him kneel down at his feet and not only they kiss his feet but also they kiss his shoes. We have not seen or we have not heard from anywhere in the whole world that the feet or the shoes of a Christian Priest who holds any position is being kissed by the people. By looking at the people who does this on their own without any force we could imagine how far he is living in their hearts. When he comes to the Shrine Ground of Our Lady of Katunayake for the General Audience, people collect the soil which he tramples because they value not only him but also the soil which Most Holy Apostolic Father tramples.
We need Most Holy Apostolic Father. People also need Most Holy Apostolic Father. I do not know of a Christian Spiritual Leader who loved the people and who loves the people without any differences or at least without any religious differences. He did not carry out his work as a worker. That means he is not working for any remuneration. He does not expect offerings from people for his own survival. He is the owner of the Sheep, the Genuine Shepherd of the Sheep.
His guidance is a consolation to defuse the flames of hearts of the people. All of us extremely value his advices. People come to Our Lady of Katunayake’s Shrine where he lives from far away places. They come to Our Lady of Katunayake’s Shrine on the day of his birthday as they want to be in the Shrine Ground at the time he was born. The time he was born to this world is not a time convenient for them to reach Our Lady of Katunayake’s Shrine. He was born at 12 midnight. He was born precisely at 12 midnight on 1st February. A time similar to this is also mentioned with regard to the Birth of Lord Jesus Christ and with regard to the birth of Blessed Mother Mary. Lord Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day precisely at 12 midnight and Blessed Mother Mary was also born precisely at 12 midnight. Our Most Holy Apostolic Father was also born precisely at 12 midnight when a day is ending and when a new day is dawning. People from all groups of ages from mothers who carry infants to elderly people who walk with the help of others converge every year on 1st February in the Shrine Ground of Our Lady of Katunayake where he resides. On 1st February precisely at 12 midnight they light candles. They also light oil lamps for the Number of years he has completed in his journey of life and celebrate his birthday by distributing sweets. They sing hymns in the midnight of 1st February and commemorate the Birth of a Noble Person in the likes of Most Holy Apostolic Father with a display of fire works in the Shrine Ground of Our Lady of Katunayake. This situation was seen in the midnight of 1st February 2011. Every year people make additions to this celebration. The Birth of Most Holy Apostolic Father has become a “Little Christmas” to them. People love Most Holy Apostolic Father to that extent because Most Holy Apostolic Father also loves them so much.
We offer our wishes and good luck to Most Holy Apostolic Father for his 54th Birth Anniversary and as well as for the 36th Anniversary of his Noble Mission which he has accomplished for the well being of the people in the world by showing the true virtuous path to them. We bow our heads and will sing hymns at his feet.
Out of the whole world it could be seen only at the feet of Most Holy Apostolic Father that people who come to him kneel down at his feet and not only they kiss his feet but also they kiss his shoes