WelCom December 2021
India will have its first canonised layman in May next year. Nilakandan Pillai, born in 1712, took the name ‘Lazarus’ – Devasahayam in the local Tamil language – when he converted to Catholicism. ‘While preaching, he particularly insisted on the equality of all people, despite caste differences. This aroused the hatred of the higher classes, and he was arrested in 1749. After enduring increasing hardships, he received the crown of martyrdom when he was shot on 14 January 1752,’ a note prepared by the Vatican said.