Who is he?
- Devasahayam Pillai, who embraced Christianity in the 18th century became the first Indian layman to be declared a saint by Pope Francis during a canonisation ceremony at the Vatican.
- With the completion of the process, Devasahayam, who took the name “Lazarus” after embracing Christianity in 1745, became the first lay person from India to become a saint.
- Devasahayam was born on April 23, 1712, as Neelakanta Pillai into a Hindu Nair family, at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district (present day Tamil Nadu), which was part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.
What is Canonization
- The process of declaring one a saint in the Catholic Church is called canonization. The canonization process is a canonical (Church law) procedure by which the Church through the Pope.
Some of the canonized saints of India
- Saint Gonsalo Garcia (born in India but Portuguese parentage)- considered to be the first Indian saint
- Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara
- Sister Alphonsa
- Mother Teresa