- His Joy of Christian and Eagerness to Proclaim Faith
- Conversion and Baptism of His Wife
- Conversion of Some Soldiers and of Others
Devasahayam experienced great joy in living out his new found faith. “Throughout the seven years of his life as a Christian the future martyr, thanked God every day with tears in his eyes for the Grace of conversion to Catholic faith”.49 He firmly dedicated himself to the reading of Christian books and to the practice of virtues and faith.50“Lazarus strove entirely to fulfill the duties of a good Christian, and made it a habit to go frequently on foot to a church distant about six leagues,51 there to recruit himself with the Bread of Angels after having cleansed his conscience by sacramental confession”.52 Full of joy and peace, Lazarus/Devasahayam was eager to share his faith with others. Moved as it were by an irresistible force, he sought to bring others to the Christian faith53.
Devasahayam felt his first and foremost duty to make the same baptismal transformation take effect in his own wife. Her immediate reaction to Devasahayam’s suggestion was one of horror. She could not comprehend or visualize how like her husband she could also be counted among the Christians who were considered as the lowest in the society, among the wretched of the earth. She consulted also her mother. The mother in law of Devasahayam was even more resistant to the idea of baptism for her daughter. She opposed it tooth and nail. Finally Devasahayam won over his wife and she was ready to become a Christian. Both of them went to Vadakkankulam and Bhargaviamma was baptized and given the name “Gnanapoo” the Tamil rendering of “Theresa”.
Returning to Padmanabhapuram, the Neophyte Devasahayam wanted to be enlisted in the Christian army of the king which is the battalion consisting of Christian soldiers54 De Lannoy was commanding that battalion and it was only natural that Devasahayam wanted to be part of it. It was reported to the king and the king was surprised to hear that Nilakandan Pillai had become a Christian and wanted to enroll himself in the Christian militia. Devasahayam succeeded in converting some soldiers and others. He also won over to the faith in Christ some of his companions in the military, who decided to fight under the sign of the Saviour, to acquire not an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly kingdom. By becoming Christians, they lost the nobility of their tribe55.