Lazarus Devasahayam Pillai

 Lazarus Devasahayam Pillai  ING-020
20 May 2022
Lazarus Devasahayam Pillai, an 18th century martyr from Tamil Nadu, is the first Indian layman to be declared a saint. He was born in 1712 in the Kingdom of Travancore, in the district of Kanyakumari to Vasudevan Nampoothiri, a Brahmin, and Devaki Amma, from the Nair caste. His name was Nilam, short for Nilakandan. Nilakandan began his career in the military, where he excelled and he later worked in the Travancore Kingdom palace. He married Bhargaviammal, a wealthy woman from his same caste. In Vadakkankulam, Nilakandan met Jesuit Fr Buttari, and told him that he wanted to become a Christian. Aware of the danger that converting to Christianity could cause to a member of the noble caste, Fr Buttari asked him to undergo a period of discernment to test the depth and conviction of Nilakandan’s decision. After finding in him not only a ...

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