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HomeNationalPope declares Devasahayam Pillai a saint, converted from Brahmin to Christian
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Pope declares Devasahayam Pillai a saint, converted from Brahmin to Christian

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Pope Francis declared a common Indian Devasahyam Pillai as a saint at the Vatican on Sunday. This is the first time that such a declaration has been made about a common Indian person. Devasahayam Pillai was an officer in the court of the Raja of Travancore. He converted to Christianity in the 18th century, and was later martyred. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI paved the way for the issuance of a decree regarding Pillai’s martyrdom and conferring the title of ‘Reverend’. According to the Vatican News website, Devasahayam must be feeling blessed among those seven saints today. The decision to declare Devasahayam as a saint was taken at the conference of saints in the Vatican in November last year.

Born in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, Devasahayam was converted to Catholicism by a Christian priest in 1745. His father was a Brahmin and his mother reportedly belonged to the Nair caste. He was an officer in the court of Maharaja Marthanda Varma, the ruler of Travancore. During this time he came under the influence of the Dutch naval commander, Captain Eustachius de Lanoy. Reports suggest that he was martyred for joining Christianity in 1752. He was then buried in front of the main altar at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Kottar.

, Pope declares Devasahayam Pillai a saint, converted from Brahmin to Christian

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