St. John de Britto was a native of Lisbon, Portugal and was a noble friend of King Pedro. He was the seventh parish priest in Kamanacikenpatti in 1684. In his efforts to spread the Christian faith among the Indian people as a missionary, he adopted the customs and dress of Brahmin caste which gave him access to the noble classes. In 1686, he had to leave India but returned in 1691. Arrested, tortured and commanded to leave India, he refused and was beheaded in 1693 and the sand dune is said to have turned red, stained by the blood of the Saint put to death at Oriyur on 4.2.1693. It is a Christian pilgrim center, as it is home to the martyrdom of St. John de Britto.