Miracles and mystery-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
SINCE Pedro Calungsod’s beatification on March 5, 2000, the devotion to the Visayan martyr has increased with the number of stories of the lives he has touched.
Outside the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City, opened in 2002 to propagate the devotion to Calungsod, Rosario Polinar Melecio described how the martyr had truly been a blessing in her life.
Last August 29, Rosario’s 22-year-old pregnant daughter was in so much pain that Rosario wondered if she would give birth that night. Roshiel was only six months pregnant.
A catechist of Sto. Niño Parish in Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City, Rosario, 46, said before she got into the ambulance that took Roshiel to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, she brought two miniature statues of Blessed Pedro and copies of a prayer guide. Rosario had less than P500 in her pocket.
The next day, Rosario learned that the child in Roshiel’s womb was dead. To save her daughter, the fetus would have to be taken out of Roshiel’s body through surgery. A bag of blood and several medicines were needed. But Rosario had only P7 left, as she had already spent P450 on Roshiel’s ultrasound. She took out a prayer guide and asked for Blessed Pedro’s help.
“Blessed Pedro, nasayod ko, isip usa ka katekista, nga naa ka nagauban kanako karon. Tabangi ko sa akong buhaton karon (I know, as a catechist, that you are with me right now. Please help me),” Rosario implored.
At the laboratory, she handed the copy of the doctor’s request for blood to a male staffer, who told her an unidentified tall, young man had already delivered what she wanted, blood type B, the night before.
Rosario believed it was a miracle. She didn’t have to pay for the blood, and the blood type needed was available. She said her daughter would not have survived without the Visayan martyr’s help.
Aside from Rosario, other people attest to the power of Blessed Pedro’s intercession. In the official website on Pedro Calungsod are testimonials on how the 17-year-old catechist, martyred with Jesuit priest Diego Luis de San Vitores in Guam in 1672, has worked “miracles,” helping in fundraising, lowering blood pressure and improving exam scores when his intercession was sought. There are also stories of healing—from wrist pain, chest pain, even from cancer.
As for the woman whose miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of Blessed Pedro paved the way for his canonization today, Sunday, her identity remains a mystery.
Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, postulator for the cause of Calungsod’s sainthood, still declines to name her, citing privacy concerns and the importance of focusing on Calungsod, the intercessor, and God, who performed the miracle.
In March 26, 2003, the Visayan woman, then 49, had fallen into the deepest level of coma following cardiac arrest and was near death in a Cebu City hospital. She recovered quickly after her doctor invoked Calungsod.
To the skeptics, word in August of her having severe asthma, putting in doubt her ability to attend the canonization in Rome, didn’t help to douse speculations on her real condition today and the sustainability of the miracle that will put Calungsod in the esteemed roster of saints.
But to the believers, no proof of health is needed, for they have experienced the miracles for themselves.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2012.