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The Tortures and Sentences
  1. Put in a narrow prison

  2. The Servant of God was put into a narrow prison so small as five palms high and one cubit long and only a little longer.68

  3. First condemnation to death and the revocation of the same

  4. The next day the king pronounced a death sentence on the Servant of God.69 The sentence made him happy that he had the grace of martyrdom.70 He was taken ceremonially to the place of execution. But the order was revoked by another order of the king,71 because some soothsayers had warned that great calamity would befall the kingdom if Devasahayam Pillai were to be put to death.72 The revoking of the sentence of death made the Servant of God sad, because he was thus robbed of the glory of dying for Christ.73

    He started to pray that he be more worthy of the gift of martyrdom. The soldiers were surprised to see that the Servant of God went happily when he was told that he was going to be killed but walked back sad when he was told that he had been spared.

  5. Parading on foot and back in prison

  6. Adorned with a garland of eruku (carotropis gigantea), accompanied by beating of drums, Devasahayam was paraded on foot through the capital in a shameful manner for 16 days. Throughout the parading, he was accused and mocked at. But the Servant of God himself raised his hands in prayer and praise.

  7. Parading on buffalo: different ways of torture

  8. Devasahayam was paraded on buffalo with hands tied behind and sitting backward. It was a shameful South Indian way of treatment meted out to persons to be punished. All along the way some people mocked at him and cursed him. Often he was beaten in public with tamarind stick and with thorny sticks in such a way as to tear open his flesh and powedered chilly was smeared over the wounds and all over the body. He was thus made to stand in the hot sun. The Servant of God bore all these sufferings with patience and joy.

  9. Second sentence to death and its revoke

  10. The Christians were levied special taxes. Some Christians refused to pay them. Devasahayam was accused for it, that he had instigated their disobedience to king’s orders. Therefore there was a second sentence to death. The Servant of God was happy to hear about the sentence. But to his great disappointment, this sentence, too, was revoked74.

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FOOT NOTE