The Vatican canonized Blessed Devashayam while the Catholic community seeks justice for Father Stan Swamy…
Indian Catholics celebrated the canonization of their first layman saint in 2022 amid a spike in violence against Christians across the nation and growing strife over a liturgy dispute within an Oriental Church.
Pope Francis canonized Blessed Lazarus, popularly known as Devasahayam, at the Vatican on May 15.
“In Devasahayam we have the first Indian who is acknowledged to have won the crown of martyrdom on Indian soil,” observed Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, the archbishop of Goa and Daman and president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).
Devasahayam is also the first married person from India to be conferred a sainthood, he added underlining the special significance of his canonization for the Church in India.
The Vatican scored another first in India when it appointed Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad as the country’s first cardinal from a Dalit or formerly untouchable community.
About 201 million of India’s 1.3 billion-plus people are Dalits, many having converted to Christianity and Islam over the centuries to escape caste-based discrimination. Some 60 percent of India’s 25 million Christians are believed to be of Dalit or tribal origin.
“Dalit Catholics have been demanding important positions in the Church hierarchy”
The appointment of Cardinal Poola to the coveted office is being seen as the Catholic Church’s recognition of the Dalits’ struggle to be recognized as equals.A year of martyrs and persecution for Indian Catholics – UCA News