TAMIL NADU Nagercoil, December 2, 2012 An official ceremony of beatification and declaration of martyrdom was held in Nagercoil, close to the tomb of Devasahayam Pillai, on Dec. 2, 2012, presided by Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, acting as papal delegate.
On June 28, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI authorized that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgate a decree regarding the martyrdom of Devasahayam Pillai so he is now referred to as "Venerable”
Devasahayam Pillai (1712-1752) was an 18th century convert from Hinduism to Christianity in the southern part of India. He was an official in the court of the Travancore king Maharaja Marthanda Varma, during which time he came under the influence of the Dutch naval commander, Captain Eustachius De Lannoy who instructed him in the Catholic faith.
He is believed by Roman Catholics to have been martyred. In 2004, the Tamil Nadu branch of the Catholic Bishops' Council in India recommended Devasahayam Pillai for the process of beatification to the Vatican. This initiative was objected to by some Hindus groups that there is no evidence of religious persecution in Travancore during that period, and that Pillai was executed for sedition. However, documents dating back to the period of Devasahayam Pillai show that conversion of court officials to Christianity was not tolerated