Indian Martyr for Christ

Devasahayam (Nilakandan) was born on 23 April 1712 in a small village called Nattalam in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. His father was a Brahmin and mother was from Nair community, considered next only to Brahmins. As per maternal tradition, his mother’s caste was ascribed to him. He was proficient in Malayalam and Tamil and was trained as a soldier. As an official he served in the Nila Kandaswamy temple at Padmanabhapuram. However, he joined to serve the King in Udayagiri Fort, at the age of 27. He was married to Bhargavi Ammal from Mekkodu.
He met a Dutch military officer who had surrendered to King Marthanda Varma during the war at the Port of Colochel in 1741. Devasahayam was found to be very sad and had a conversation with Benedictus De Lannoy. He shared the Old Testament story of Job, which impressed Devasahayam. Fr. Giovanni Baptista Buttari, a Jesuit missionary, instructed further and was baptized on 14 May 1745. Immediately, he shared his new faith with others, including his wife. He threw away symbols of his caste, mingled and ate with all people expressing his faith that God created all equal.
The high caste people opposed him and accused him on three counts: insulting gods (deiva throgam); violation of caste rules (kula throgam) and treason to the royal throne (raja throgam). He was put in a narrow prison on 23 February, 1749. He was tortured in several ways. He was bound by chains, seated on a buffalo, garlanded with erukku flowers as a symbol of shame and paraded in many villages. On 14-15 January 1752, he was taken to a secret place, where he knelt down and prayed and was shot dead with five leaden bullets. His body was thrown to wild animals. However, other Christians discovered his remains and buried in St. Francis Church, which is the present Cathedral of the Diocese of Kottar. He is considered a saint for social equality. The Catholic Church announced him as a saint on 15 May 2022. (Indian Currents, 16-22 May 2022)
Am I a faithful witness for Christ? (Acts 1:8)