St. Lazarus (Devasahayam Pilla)

St. Lazarus (Devasahayam Pilla)

Fri, 03 Jun 22 Spiritual Masters Spirituality

Devasahayam Pillai — 1st Indian layman declared as saint .

Devasahayam was born on April 23, 1712, as Neelakanta Pillai into a Hindu upper-caste family, at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district, which was part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.

Devasahayam Pillai, who fought casteism in India, was declared a saint by the Vatican, becoming the first Indian layman to be canonised. Blessed Devasahayam Pillai was canonised by Pope Francis during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

All you need to know about Devasahayam Pillai:

Devasahayam was born on April 23, 1712, as Neelakanta Pillai into a Hindu upper-caste family, at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district, which was part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.

He later took the name of "Lazarus" or "Devasahayam" in Malayalam which translates to "God is my help".

He worked in the court of Travancore’s Maharaja Marthanda Varma when he was instructed into the Catholic faith by a Dutch naval commander.

"While preaching, he particularly insisted on the equality of all people, despite caste differences. This aroused the hatred of the higher classes, and he was arrested in 1749. After enduring increasing hardships, he received the crown of martyrdom when he was shot on January 14, 1752," .