Pope to make Devasahayam a saint today, 1st for an Indian layman | India News


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Devasahayam Pillai, who embraced Christianity in the 18th century, will be declared a saint by Pope Francis at the Vatican on Sunday. The Thiruvananthapuram Latin archdiocese will hold special prayers to mark his canonisation. He will be the first Indian layman to be declared a saint, notes the website Vatican News.
Latin archdiocese representatives said as part of the canonisation mass to be held at the Vatican at 10.30 am on Sunday, Archbishop Thomas J Netto will lead the thanksgiving mass and special prayers at Palayam St Joseph’s cathedral at 5 pm on Sunday.
A portrait of Devasahayam, also called the Blessed Lazarus, will be unveiled in the cathedral. A national-level celebration of his canonisation will be held on June 5 at Kottar St Francis Xavier Church, where his mortal remains are buried in front of the main altar of the church. Special prayers were also held at churches under the Neyyatinkara archdiocese on Saturday.
Devasahayam was born in 1712 in a hamlet called Nattalam, in the present-day district of Kanyakumari. His father was Vasudevan Namputhiri, a Brahmin, and his mother Devaki Amma belonged to the Nair caste, as per a blog on martyr Devasahayam Pillai. He served in the palace of southern India’s Hindu kingdom of Travancore and converted to Catholicism in 1745 while working at the royal palace, where he met a captured Dutch commander who taught him about Christianity.


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