Blessed Pedro Calungsod, 2nd Filipino Saint
By: Rev. Fr. Joselito I. Jopson
The countdown is on for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod as the second Filipino saint on October 21, 2012 at the Vatican.
The National Commission is working in collaboration with the Episcopal Commission on Mission in the nationwide catechesis and promotion of the cause of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. It is composed of the following: Archbishop Jose Palma, D.D., Chairman; Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, D.D., Co-chairman; Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Bishop Julito Cortes, Bishop Joel Baylon, Bishop Edwin dela Peña, Bishop Jesse Mercado, Precioso Cantillas, Retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., members; and Amb. Henrietta de Villa, Secretary General.
The commission has decided to hold a National Thanksgiving mass for the Canonization of Pedro Calungsod on November 30, 2012 at the Cebu South Road Properties. The mass will be preceded by foot and fluvial processions.
Part of the National Preparation for the Thanksgiving Mass will be a visit of the image of the soon-to-be Saint Pedro Calungsod to Archdioceses and Dioceses all over the country dubbed “Duaw Nasud”, a Cebuano term that means “to visit different places.”
The visit will start with activities in Manila particularly in Intramuros, which in 1672 basically was what Manila was. Then the visit will go north to Vigan (Nueva Segovia). From there a motorcade of the image of San Pedro Calungsod will be organized to move down to Naga City (Nueva Caceres), making some pre-designated overnight stops in some archdioceses and dioceses. After covering Luzon, the visit will proceed to the Visayas and Mindanao, before arriving in Cebu for the National Thanksgiving Mass celebration.
Meanwhile, the Manila Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission conducted a trainors’ training seminar for catechist coordinators, representatives from the accredited travel agencies for the canonization rites in Rome, and other Church leaders last May 21. A catechetical primer on the life, martyrdom, and glorification of Blessed Pedro Calungsod was given by Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, PC.
Who is Pedro Calungsod?
According to the canonization bulletin dated July 15, (cf. http://cebuarchdiocese.org) Calungsod was a teenaged catechist who served at the Jesuit mission in the Marianas from June 1668 until his death on April 2, 1672.
He was known to have quickly adapted to the Chamorro way of life and language so that he was an efficient guide to the priests, particularly Don Diego Luis de San Vitores, S.J.
Pedro was the sole companion of Don San Vitores in the early morning of April 2, 1672 in the village of Tomhon, when two natives killed them one after the other after San Vitores with Calungsod baptized the baby daughter of the Chieftain Mata’pang.
Wikipedia on Pedro Calungsod narrates: “Witnesses claim that Calungsod could have escaped the attack, but did not want to leave San Vitores alone. He was hit in the chest by a spear and fell to the ground, then Hirao immediately charged towards him and finished him off with machete blow to the head. San Vitores absolved Calungsod before he too was killed.”
Wikipedia reports that through Calungsod and San Vitores’ missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism. Calungsod was beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II while Blessed Diego Luis was beatified earlier last 6 October 1985.
On 19 December 2011, the Holy See officially approved the miracle qualifying Calungsod for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. The recognised miracle dates from 2002, when a Leyte woman who was pronounced clinically dead by accredited physicians two hours after a heart attack was revived when a doctor prayed for Calungsod’s intercession.
Calungsod will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012, 25 years after Blessed Pope John Paul II canonized Lorenzo Ruiz, a calligrapher from Binondo, Manila who died for his faith in Nagasaki, Japan.
Regarding Calungsod’s charitable works and virtuous deeds, Pope John Paul II declared: “… From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotions, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr. Diego, but as a “good soldier of Christ” preferred to die at the missionary’s side.”
Sources: www.cebuarchdiocese.org; “Pedro Calungsod,” “Diego Luis de San Vitores,” www.wikipedia.com