Devasahayam Pillai Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Family | Who was Devasahayam Pillai? Bio, Wiki

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Who was Devasahayam Pillai?

Saint Devasahayam Pillai (23 April 1712 – 14 January 1752) (born Neelakanta Pillai in the Kingdom of Travancore and baptized as Lazarus) was an Indian layman of the Catholic Church.

He was born in the Kanyakumari district into a Hindu family in the 18th century, but converted to Catholicism and is considered a martyr.

Devasahayam Pillai Biography, Wiki

Devasahayam Pillai, a Hindu who converted to Christianity in the eighteenth century, will be the first Indian layman to be conferred the title of a saint, as announced on Tuesday by the Congregation for the Cause of Saints at the Vatican. 

Church officials said here on Wednesday that Pope Francis will consecrate Devasahayam Pillai, along with six other saints, on 15th May 2022, during the proclamation of the canon at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

With the completion of the process, Devasahayam Pillai would become the first common man in India to become a Christian saint. So, in this article further, let’s know more about Devasahayam Pillai Biography, who was he, his age, and the work he did for humanity.

Also known as Lazarus, in his baptismal name, Devasahayam Pillai is a beatified Indian layman of the Catholic Church. As mentioned above, Devasahayam was born in a Hindu Family in the 18th century, and later converted to Catholicism, and as per the Cristian faith, is considered a martyr.

Devasahayam Pillai Biography Wikipedia
Devasahayam Pillai
BornNeelakanta Pillai
23 April 1712
Nattalam, Kanyakumari District, Kingdom of Travancore
Died14 January 1752 (aged 39)
Aralvaimozhy, Kingdom of Travancore
Resting placeKottar, Nagercoil, India
Venerated inCatholic Church

Devasahayam Pillai Career

Born on 23rd April 1712, Devasahayam Pillai died at the age of 14th January 1752, when he was 39 years old.

Devasahayam Pillai initially used to serve as an official in the court of the King of Travancore, Maharaja Marthanda Varma, where he was influenced by a Dutch naval commander, Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, who introduced him to the Catholic faith. Devasahayam Pillai is even believed to have been killed by the state of Travancore for supporting his Christian faith.

Devasahayam was declared blessed in Kottar on 2nd December 2012, 300 years after his birth. Pillai took birth in a Hindu Nair family at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district, which was then part of the Kingdom of Travancore.

While preaching religion, Devasahayam especially emphasized on equality of all people irrespective of caste differences, which triggered a hatred among the upper classes, and he was arrested in 1749. After enduring increasing hardships, Devasahayam Pillai was martyred, after he was shot on 14th January 1752.

What was the controversy surrounding his name?

Devasahayam’s ascent to sainthood was not without controversy. In 2017, two former IAS officers wrote to Cardinal Angelo Amato, who was then the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, urging them to drop Devasahayam’s last name ‘Pillai’ as it was a caste title. However at the time, the Vatican declined their request.

It was only in February 2020, when the Vatican cleared him for sainthood, that they dropped ‘Pillai’ from his name, referring to him as ‘Blessed Devasahayam’.

Devasahayam Pillai FAQ’s

Who was Devasahayam Pillai?

Saint Devasahayam Pillai (23 April 1712 – 14 January 1752) (born Neelakanta Pillai in the Kingdom of Travancore and baptized as Lazarus) was an Indian layman of the Catholic Church.

How did Devasahayam Pillai die?

While preaching religion, Devasahayam especially emphasized on equality of all people irrespective of caste differences, which triggered a hatred among the upper classes, and he was arrested in 1749. After enduring increasing hardships, Devasahayam Pillai was martyred, after he was shot on 14th January 1752.

How old was Devasahayam Pillai?

Devasahayam Pillai died at 39.

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