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“Martyrdom and the vocation to martyrdom are not the result of human effort, but the response to an initiative and a call from God, they are a gift of his grace, which makes one capable of offering one's life for love of Christ and of the Church, and thus of the world. If we read the lives of the martyrs, we are amazed by their serenity and courage when facing suffering and death: The power of God is manifested fully in weakness” (Cf. 2 Cor. 12:9).

These words of Holy Father Benedict XVI (Catechesis of Benedict XVI, Castel Gandolfo, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010), with its reference to the Pauline allusion to the work of grace in the midst of human weakness and suffering for the sake of the Gospel, are fully applicable to the life, sufferings and the valiant death of the Servant of God Devasahayam Pillai.


Finally came the great day, the day appointed by God, the 2nd of December 2012, for the Beatification of the first Indian who obtained the crown of martyrdom on the soil of his birth, the first Indian lay person to be raised to the veneration on Altars, the first married person in India to be raised to the honours of the Altar.
Pope Benedict XIV was in St. Peter’s Chair when Martyrdom of Devasahayam took place amidst cruel persecution of Christians in the interior parts of the Kingdom of Travancore. After 260 years Pope Benedict XVI issued the following Apostolic letter for the
Beatification of Martyr Devashayam : We, fulfilling the request of our Brother Peter Remigius, the Bishop of Kottar and that of many other Brothers in Episcopacy and of a lot of Christian Faithful, having consulted the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, by our Apostolic Authority make this provision, that the Venerable Servant of God Lazarus v.d. Devasahayam Pillai, a Lay man and a martyr, fearless proclaimer of the Gospel, a stable witness of Kingdom of God, which is the reign of justice, fraternal charity and peace, may hereafter be called by the name of Blessed, and that his feast may be celebrated in places on the fourteenth day of January, a day on which he was born in heaven. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Given at St. Peter’s Rome, on the twenty fourth day of November in the Year of the Lord two thousand and twelve, the eighth of our Potificate.
His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for Saints, Vatican, who represented the Holy Father read the same letter in the Latin Original:

(scan the apostolic letter)

Thereupon, the crowd of Christian Faithful numbering nearly 400,000 together with all the Cardinal of India and 45 Bishops from all over India thundered in exultation and jubilation chanting the hymn Te Deum, which had been sung throughout the then diocese of Cochin, I response to the Pastoral letter of the Bishop Most Rev. Clemense Jose Laitao on hearing of the Martyrdom of Bl. Devasahayam on 14th of January in the year 1752.

At the same time a statue of the newly Blessed and his relics were being carried in solemn procession. His Beatitude Cardinal Cleemis, the head of Syro-Malankara Church, Thiruvananthapuram received them and stalled them at the side of the altar and the presiding Cardinal paid homage to them by incense. It was indeed a moving historical moment for the Church of Kottar and for the entire Church in India. The universal Church too made that joy her own through the Supreme Pontiff, who made a reference to the event of Beatification during his Angelus greeting to the people of the world.

In his remarks to English speaking pilgrims and visitors after the Angelus, the Holy Father made special mention of Devasahayam Pillai, a convert from Hinduism who was martyred in India in 1752. Blessed Devasahayam was beatified today in the diocese of Kottar. “His witness to Christ,” the Pope said, “is an example of that attentiveness to the coming of Christ recalled by this first Sunday of Advent. (Thanks Vatican Radio, 2 Dec. 2012)

What next:

The process of Canonization of Blessed Martyr Devasahayam Pillai has now started. There is need of a miracle which should be proved as taken place by the intercession of Bl. Devasahayam. There will be a “Diocesan Enquiry” on the miracle. Then the report will be sent to the Congregation for Saints, which will institute a “Roman Enquiry” for confirmation of the miracle. Our Prayer for Canonization of Bl. Martyr Devasahayam

Report favours received to:
Rev. Fr. Dr.E.John Kulandai
Vice Postulator