India will be holding a National Thanksgiving Prayer Service to consecrate all Indian families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and pay tribute to the Saint Devasahayam, the new Indian saint, on June 24, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The hour-long prayer service by the Latin Catholic Church will be held on the tomb of St. Devasahayam at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Kottar, in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The special service will be telecast on Catholic satellite television channels and streamed on the Church’s leading YouTube channels.
Archbishop George Antonysamy of Madras-Mylapore, vice president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, Archbishop Anil Joseph Couto of Delhi, secretary general of CCBI, Bishop Nazarene Soosai of Kottar, and Sister Annie Kuttikadu, SMI will lead the chanting of the psalms.
Father John Kulandai, vice postulator for the canonization of St. Devasahayam, will proclaim the Gospel while Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay will give the homily.
Father Yesu Karunanidhi, executive secretary to the CCBI Commission for Bible, along with seven lay faithful from different parts of India will lead the prayers of the faithful in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, and Badga.
The prayer to St Devasahayam will be recited by Archbishop Thomas J. Netto of Trivandrum while the choir will sing the litany of saints.
Cardinal-elect Filipe Neri Ferrão, CCBI president and Archbishop of Goa and Daman, will consecrate all families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Antony Pappusamy of Madurai will recite the concluding prayer and the Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, will give the Eucharistic Benediction.
The CCBI requested everyone, particularly families and religious communities, to join in the prayer service and shared the event to family and community members abroad.
Pope Francis canonized Blessed Devasahayam along with nine others on May 15.
Devasahayam Pillai was a Hindu who converted to Christianity in the 18th century. A few years after his conversion, he was imprisoned for renouncing his faith.
Devasahayam, an official in the court of the king of the erstwhile Travancore, continued preaching Christianity until he was shot dead on Jan. 14, 1752, in the Aralvaimozhy forest in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district.