Blessed Devasahayam Pillai was born on April 23 1712 AD, in Palliyadi, Nattalam(present day Kanyakuman district). He was a missionary, a lay man and a royal officer under the Dewan of Travancore. He died on January 14 1752 AD, aged 39, in Travancore, Kattadimalai, present day Kanyakuman district as a martyr. He was buried in Kottar, Nagercoil, India. His feast day is celebrated on January 14.
Bl. Devasahayam Pillai Pillai Biography
|Date of Birth||April 23 1712|
|Country of Birth||India of Asia|
|Matrimony/Holy Orders||Blesseds who were Married|
|Place of Work||India|
|Date of Death||January 14 1752|
|Place of Death||Tamil Nadu, India|
|Feast Day||January 14|
|Beatification||Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on December 2 2012|
|Canonization||Canonized by N/A|
|Patronage||Martyrs and persecuted christians|
Blessed Devasahayam Pillai’s Life History
Devasahayam Pillai was born as Neelakanda Pillai, on April 23 1712 AD, in Palliyadi, Nattalam(present day Kanyakuman district), from a priest at Sri Adi Kesava Perumal Temple, Vasudevan Namboodiri and Devaki Amma
Pillai was raised by his maternal uncle having being introduced to Hindu traditions and beliefs at an early age. Due to his family’s influence on the royal palace, he was put in service of the royal palace and was soon in charge of state affairs under the Dewan of Travancore.
He was converted to Christianity by one, Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, who was sent to capture one of Travancore’s ports and failed, made prisoner and released on the condition that he and his fellow captives would serve in Travancore’s army and gaining subsequent victories for the kingdom afterwards. It was during his service in the army that he was acquainted with Pillai and after enlightening him on the faith, Pillai was converted to the faith in 1745 AD and baptized in the Roman Catholic Latin Rite Church at Vadakkhankulam, present Tamil Nadu. He took the name Lazar after being baptized.
He convinced his wife to convert to Christianity, Bargavi Ammal and took the name Granapoo Ammaaal. He also influenced the conversion of some of his immediate family members to the Christianity.
After having converted to Christianity, it was said that at the time, it was forbidden for royal officials to partake in Christianity, according to catholic records of the time. Charges against him were falsified to the Dewan of Travancore and was divested of his portfolio while being accused of treason.
He was arrested and tortured for three years after which it was ordered that he be taken to Aralvaimohzy border for a meaningful punishment. This order was made after a previous one meant to execute, him was altered.
He was marched to the border by soldiers while sitting backwards on a water buffalo, which at the time signified the Lord of death, while having on his skin, red paint and dark spots, symbolizing that he was a criminal. It is believed that God quenched his thirst by letting water come out of a rock while taking a stop on the way to the border.
Orders were to deport Pillai to another country through the border but he was left near some hills near the border. It is said that he embarked on deep meditations and that villagers of neighboring areas visited him in those hills. It was until later that soldiers were sent to look for him and tried to shoot but their guns were miraculously unable to fire. He took the guns, blessed them, gave it back to them and gave consent to shoot him and the soldiers fired at him. He died on January 14 1752 AD in Kattadimalai.
Blessed Devasahayam Pillai’s Birth
Pillai was born on April 23 1712 AD, in Palliyadi, Nattalam(present day Kanyakuman district).
Blessed Devasahayam Pillai’s Death
He died on January 14 1752 AD, aged 39, in Travancore, Kattadimalai, present day Kanyakuman district as a martyr. He was buried in Kottar, Nagercoil, India.
He was born from Vasudevan Namboodiri, a priest at Sri Adi Kesava Perumal Temple in present day Tamil Nadu and Devaki Amma.
He was a lay man and a royal officer under the Dewan of Travancore.
He was beatified on December 2 2012 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Tamil Nadu, by Cardinal Angelo Amato on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.
He is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church
Blessed Devasahayam Pillai’s Relics
His clothes and belongings are kept in a small town, Vadakhhankulam in Tamil Badu which are exposed on every August 15, during the feast of the Assumption of Mary.
His major shrine is situated at the Cathedral of Saint Francis Xavier, Kottar, Nagercoil, India.
Blessed Devasahayam Pillai’s Feast Day
His feast day is celebrated on January 14.
He is attributed as being tied up in chains, while praying on his knees before his execution.
Blessed Devasahayam Pillai’s Patronage
His patronage is India and of Martyrs/ persecuted Christians.