Kottar, (CCBI): Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay and one of the topmost consultors of Pope Francis urges everyone to become holy like St. Devasahayam. He was giving a homily during the National Thanksgiving Prayer Service, conducted from the tomb of St. Devasahayam at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Kottar on Friday 24 June 2022, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“St. Devasahayam’s life reminds us that the vocation to holiness extends to all Christians, not just priests and religious. The canonization of the first married lay martyr from our land is a very significant landmark, particularly in the history of the Church in India,” said Cardinal Gracias.
St. Devasahayam is the first Indian lay martyr, canonised by Pope Francis on 15 May 2022.
Cardinal-Elect Filipe Neri Ferrão the President of the CCBI and the Archbishop of Goa consecrated all families to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Most Rev. George Antonysamy, Vice President, CCBI and Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore initiated the prayer service. Most Rev. Anil Couto, Secretary-General, CCBI and Archbishop of Delhi along with Most Rev. Nazarene Soosai, Bishop of Kottar and Rev. Sr. Annie Kuttikadu, SMI recited the psalmody.
Rev. Dr John Kulandai, Vice Postulator, Canonization of St. Devasahayam proclaimed the Gospel. Rev. Dr Yesu Karunanidhi, Executive Secretary to the CCBI Commission for Bible along with seven lay faithful from different parts of India led the prayers of the faithful in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali and Badga, languages.
Most Rev. Thomas J. Netto, Archbishop of Trivandrum recited the prayer to St. Devasahayam. The litany to St. Devasahayam sung by the Choir invoking the intercession of the saint.
Most Rev. Antony Pappusamy, Archbishop of Madurai recited the concluding prayer and Most Rev. Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to India gave the Eucharistic Benediction.
All Catholic faithful in India spend one hour as one family and renewed their consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In circular issued by the President of the CCBI requested all religious communities, seminaries, hostels and other Catholic institutions to participate in the Prayer Service and intercede for the mediation of St. Devasahayam.
The Thanksgiving Prayer Service was telecasted on Catholic satellite television channels like Madha TV, Shalom TV, Goodness TV, Shekinah TV, Divyavani TV, Atmadarshan TV, Ishvani TV, CCR TV and Prarthana Bhawan TV and streamed through leading Catholic YouTube channels.