Memories, landmark and digital prayers-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
AFTER the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod and all the thanksgiving masses have been celebrated, devotees of the new saint will be left not only with memories of the historic event.
For some 7,000 young devotees from different parts of the Philippines and other continents, the canonization of St. Pedro also means having a “kabarkada” (peer) who will intercede for them.
Cultural heritage advocates will also welcome soon the establishment of a historical landmark that is the templete at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City, where the national thanksgiving mass for the canonization will be celebrated on Nov. 30.
As early as August, thousands have already invoked Blessed Pedro’s name in prayers, asking for intercession for a wide range of problems, whether financial troubles, health problems, the search for a husband or a bad case of acne.
Those are just some of the petitions posted on the Facebook page of Barkada ni Pedro, an online prayer community dedicated to Pedro Calungsod. It seeks to spread the devotion to the new saint among the youth.
“As long as people would like their prayers to be prayed for and there are people who want to pray for other people’s prayers, Barkada ni Pedro will continue to exist and the people behind the account will continue to work on a daily basis to facilitate the online prayer barkada,” said Marlito Cabigas, administrator of the online community initiated by the Archdiocese of Cebu’s Commission on Youth (COY).
Anyone is welcome to join the prayer group as long as he has liked the Barkada ni Pedro Facebook page.
Aside from hosting the online prayer community for some 7,100 devotees, the Barkada ni Pedro page features catechism, the daily gospel and reflections, trivia on the life of St. Pedro, a comic strip on the life of St. Pedro and pledges to the new saint.
Cabigas said the page is not only for information dissemination.
“We are looking for virtues of St. Pedro that the youth can emulate, and we chose his being prayerful. Using Facebook’s features, we encourage the youth to be prayerful like him,” he said.
By simply clicking on the like button on prayers posted on the Barkada ni Pedro page, the prayers are prayed for by other Facebook users and also offered during the Tambayan ni Pedro mass held at the Commission on Youth center every Friday night.
For Cabigas, St. Pedro’s canonization today is both a victory and a challenge to the youth to be humble servants of the church.
“It encourages us to be better individuals. We don’t need to do extraordinary things but to just do what is expected of us,” he said.
For those not on Facebook, the templete (or small temple) that will stand on a lot at the SRP will be another reminder of his canonization.
The Archdiocese of Cebu is working out a request for the Cebu City Government to donate the area where the templete is being built to the archdiocese.
If the lot is donated to the archdiocese, the templete will remain at the SRP and be declared a historical landmark in memory of St. Pedro’s canonization, said Fr. Brian Brigoli, vice chairman of the Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church and person in charge of the templete.
“There was already a verbal agreement from some city officials, but the declaration for it to be a historical landmark is still being worked out because before a historical marker can be installed, the event should have already taken place,” he said.
The templete was 60 percent complete as of last week.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2012.