Devasahyam Pillai of Kerala, who turned from Hindu to Christian, will be honored with the title of saint. This was announced by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican. He will be the first common man in India to be conferred the title of a saint. Pillai converted to Christianity in the 18th century. Pope Francis will consecrate Pillai along with six others at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on 15 May 2022. Church officials said with the completion of the canonization process, Pillai would become the first common man in India to become a Christian saint. He took the name ‘Lazarus’ after converting to Christianity in 1745. The meaning of ‘Lazarus’ is ‘devasahyam’ or ‘help of the gods’.
The Vatican said that while preaching the religion, Pillai emphasized the equality of all people irrespective of caste differences. This caused resentment against the upper classes and he was arrested in 1749. After enduring increasing hardships, he attained martyr status when he was shot on 14 January 1752. Pillai was declared blessed in Kottar on 2 December 2012, 300 years after his birth. He was born on 23 April 1712 in a Hindu Nair family at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district, which was then part of the Kingdom of Travancore.
How to get the title of saint in Christian sect
In Christianity, the process of declaring any person a saint is completed in three stages. In the first stage the followers of the person concerned prove the greatness and miracles of that person in front of the local bishop. Then a letter is prepared on the basis of the evidence and information of the miracles of that person through the postchulator chosen by the church, on the basis of which the Pope gives the title of reverend to that person. In the second stage, the Pope declares him blessed. The last stage is the consecration of a saint by the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The process of canonization is called canonization.