Pinoy saint named

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Sunday, February 19, 2012


CEBU CITY -- The Philippines has its second saint in the Cebuano teenaged martyr Pedro Calungsod, soon to be known as San Pedro de Cebu.

Pope Benedict XVI announced that the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod and six other religious men and women will be on October 21, 2012.

Archbishop Jose Palma told Sun.Star Cebu the news will be spread today, Sunday, in as many parishes and chaplaincies as possible under the Archdiocese of Cebu.

“We will exhort the various committees to implement action programs,” Palma said.

“I will give instructions to the auxiliary bishops and vicars general. (The announcement would be made to) as many as can be reached. All we do is repeat the official announcement made by the Pope,” he added.

The Pope made the announcement last night -- Saturday morning in Vatican City, Italy -- after he led the installation of 22 new cardinals during liturgical rites held at St. Peter’s Basilica. The Eternal Word Television Network aired the ceremonies live.

The Vatican News Service, meanwhile, reported that “following the ceremony, Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, introduced the ordinary public consistory for the canonization” of seven blessed persons, among them Pedro Calungsod, “a Filipino lay catechist and martyr.”

The others are Jacques Berthieu, a French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth; Maria del Carmen (nee Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; Maria Anna Cope (nee Barbara), German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse, USA; Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman; and Anna Schaffer, German laywoman.

“The Holy Father has decreed that the canonization ceremony will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21. The consistory concluded with the apostolic blessing,” the report stated.

Fr. Mhar Balili, a Cebuano diocesan priest on a study leave in Rome and who witnessed the ceremony, posted the good news in his Facebook account.

He added that Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the national chairperson of the committee preparing for the canonization of the Cebuano martyr, would be meeting with Cebuano priests in Rome to start the necessary preparations.

The Rome-based committee chairpersons are: Msgr. Joseph Tan for catechism of Filipino migrants in Italy, Fr. Mhar Balili for liturgy, Fr. Ely Suico and Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes for the pilgrims.

Beato Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged catechist, was martyred in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit priest, now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Cardinal Vidal had called Calungsod a Cebuano, as he was part of the Cebu diocese at the time of his death. In the 1600s, the diocese included the whole of Visayas, Mindanao and the Marianas Islands.

He was also the one who revealed that the young catechist would be known as “San Pedro de Cebu.”

It was in December last year that Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of Calungsod, the last step before his name was included in the list of saints or the process of canonization.

The country’s first saint, San Lorenzo de Manila, was also a martyr who died for his faith in Nagasaki, Japan. He worked as a calligrapher for the Dominican parish of Binondo, Manila.

He was the first person to be beatified outside Vatican City during liturgical rites held in Manila by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1981. He was canonized by the same Pontiff in October 1987. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2012.

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