Skip links

Church in India celebrates announcement of first canonization of lay person

MUMBAI, India – India’s newest saint is “a model a beacon for us and for future generations,” according to one bishop.

Nilakandan Pillai was born in 1712 in what is now the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in the south of the Indian subcontinent. When he was baptized, he took the name “Lazarus” – Devasahayam in the local Tamil language. He stopped using the name “Pillai” after his conversion, since it was a Hindu caste name.

After his conversion, Devasahayam suffered severe harassment and persecution – including beatings and imprisonment – until he was finally shot and killed in 1752.

His body is now at Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral in the Diocese of Kottar.

“We know already – and it is taken by the people – that Devasahayam is a martyr and a saint.  it is only on the official announcement of the Church that we were waiting,” said Bishop Nazarene Soosai of Kottar.

Read more at Crux

Share with Friends: