Blessed Devasahayam, Indian martyr cleared for sainthood

epa07917283 Pope Francis during the canonization Mass of five new Saints in St. Peters Square at the Vatican, 13 October 2019. Five new Saints are canonized at the Vatican on 13 October 2019, namely Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, Swiss Franciscan tertiary Marguerite Bays, Sister Giuseppina Vannini, India's Mother Mariam Thresia Mankidiyan, and British Cardinal John Henry Newman. EPA-EFE/Riccardo Antimiani

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Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate 8 decrees regarding 10 candidates, clearing two of them for sainthood.

This included Indian martyr, Blessed Lazarus, called Devasahayam, an 18th century high-caste Hindu married man who converted to Catholicism.  A decree acknowledged a miracle through his intercession that cleared him for sainthood.

Devasahayam was declared Blessed on December 2, 2012, in Kottar, 300 years after his birth.

In remarks that day during the midday “Angelus” prayer in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI recalled Devasahayam as “faithful layman”.  He urged Christians to “join in the joy of the Church in India and pray that the new Blessed may sustain the faith of the Christians of that large and noble country.”


Pope Francis also acknowledged a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Maria Francesca di Gesù (born: Anna Maria Rubatto), that clears her for canonization.  The foundress of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of Loano was born in Carmagnola (Italy) on February 14, 1844, and died in Montevideo (Uruguay) on August 6, 1904.

The canonization of these two candidates will be decided at a later date.

A Jesuit priest who was murdered at the threshold of the Salvadoran civil war and who in death became a icon for human rights in rural Latin America was moved a step closer to sainthood by Pope Francis on Saturday.

The Vatican said the pope had approved a decree recognising that Rutilio Grande and two lay Salvadorans were killed “in hatred of the faith”. This means they will be beatified without the customary need for a miracle to be attributed to them. Beatification is the last step before sainthood.

Murdered before the start of the Salvadoran civil war, Father Grande, who was a close friend of fellow Salvadoran and martyr, Saint Oscar Romero, became an icon for human rights in rural Latin America.

Known for his vigorous defence of poor, the Jesuit priest, an elderly man and a teenager were shot by a right-wing death squad as they were travelling in a car outside the village where he was born.

The horror that the assassination of Fr. Grande generated led Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador to take up the Jesuit’s mantle as a defender of the poor.  Three years later, Romero would succumb to the assassins’ bullets for his outspoken criticism of the military and work on behalf of El Salvador’s oppressed.

The decree on the martyrdom of Fr. Grande and his two companions does away with the need for a miracle through their intercession to qualify for beatification, the final step before sainthood, for which a miracle would be required.  The beatification date will be declared at a later date.

Via Vatican News / Reuters / Indian Catholic Matters 


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