Devasahayam Pillai Becomes First Indian Layman To Be Declared Saint By Pope Francis:
Devasahayam was recommended for the process of Beatification by the Vatican in 2004.
- Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a deceased person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in their name.
- With the completion of the process, Devasahayam pillai, who took the name “Lazarus” after embracing Christianity in 1745, on may 15th became first Indian layman to be declared a saint by Pope Francis during an impressive canonisation ceremony at the Vatican.
- Devasahayam was born on April 23, 1712, as Neelakanta Pillai into a Hindu Nair family, at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district, which was part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.
- Devasahayam Pillai was an Indian layman of the Catholic Church.
- He is considered a martyr and was canonized as a saint with nine others by Pope Francis on 15 May 2022.
- He was an official in the court of Travancore’s Maharaja Marthanda Varma when he was instructed into the Catholic faith by a Dutch naval commander.
- “Lazarus” or “Devasahayam” in Malayalam, translates to “God is my help”.