Devasahayam, the martyr who preached the equality of Dalits, to be saint

Pope Francis will canonise seven new saints in Rome next 15 May. One of them will be Lazarus Devasahayam, the first Indian layperson to be so recognised by the Catholic Church.

The Vatican announced the date yesterday after the green light for the canonization was given on 3 May during the ordinary public consistory. Charles de Foucauld will also be canonised in the same ceremony.

Born Devasahayam Pillai on 23 April 1712 in Nattalam, a village in Tamil Nadu, the future saint hailed from a high caste Hindu family. After embarking on a military career, he became an official in the royal palace of the Kingdom of Travancore.

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