SRI RAHULA THERO
Born on 9th June 1409 AD in the island of Sri Lanka and ordained as a Bhikku In the year 1429 as Venerable Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thero, he came under the tutelage of the Venerable Weedagama Maithree Thero, who taught him ayurvedic medicine and sorcery, which benefited and was a great blessing to thousands of people.
Sri Rahula Thero was decorated by the king for his erudite knowledge of six languages and for his unique skill in oratory and rose to become a luminary among the Sangha community of that day. In the field of literature in the kingdom of Kotte his writings in poetry embellished Sinhala literature so much that this period was referred to as the Golden Era of Sinhala Literature in the Kotte period. He was famous for his works of poetry such as the ‘Selalihini Sandeshaya’(The message of the Mynah bird), the ‘Gira Sandeshaya’ (The message of the Parrot) and the ‘Paravi Sandeshaya’, (The message of the Dove).The high quality of poetry in those poetic works has not been rivaled by any poet down the centuries to this day.
Sri Rahula Thero who rendered such yeoman service to humanity passed away on 27th September 1491 in a rock cave called 'Ambana',in the Elpitiya Division of the Galle District of Sri Lanka, while he was leading a cloistered life away from society fearing attack by the Portuguese invaders who were plundering Buddhist temples and killing Buddhist monks all over the island of Sri Lanka.
Even today, 522 years since he passed away, his mortal remains are lying in a Roman Catholic Church in the district of Goa in India, with his hair and nails growing. Today the Roman Catholic community in Goa pay their respects to the remains of The Venerable Sri Rahula Thero of Sri Lanka, under the misguided belief that these are the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a Portuguese saint of the Roman Catholic Church.