Today, Pope Francis will canonise Devasahayam, the first Indian layman to do so.

Devasahayam Pillai introduced Christianity in the 18th century . He converted to Catholicism after meeting with a captured Dutch commander who taught him about Christianity .

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pope Francis will celebrate Devasahayam Pillai, who introduced Christianity in the 18th century, at the Vatican on Sunday.To honor his canonization, the Thiruvananthapuram Latin archdiocese will hold special prayers.According to the website Vatican News, he would be the first Indian layman to be proclaimed a saint.Archbishop Thomas J Netto will lead the thanksgiving mass and special prayers at Palayam St Josephs cathedral at 5 p.m. on Sunday, according to Latin archdiocese representatives.

On June 5, his canonization will be celebrated at Kottar St Francis Xavier Church, where his mortal remains will be buried in front of the church's main altar.On Saturday, special prayers were held at churches under the Neyyatinkara archdiocese.Devasahayam was born in 1712 in a hamlet called Nattalam in the present-day district of Kanyakumari.According to a blog about martyr Devasahayam Pillai, his father was a Brahmin named Vasudevan Namputhiri, and his mother, Devaki Amma, belonged to the Nair caste.