Lenten events to cast light on Pedro’s sacrifice-A A +A
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
THE 40-day Lenten season begins today, Ash Wednesday, with the ritual of placing ash on the foreheads of mass-goers.
There will be slight changes to this year’s commemoration of the passion, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, with the recent announcement that lay catechist Pedro Calungsod will be canonized on Oct. 21, 2012.
Fr. Mhar Balili, who heads the Vatican City-based liturgy committee, said plans are being finalized for the monthly catechesis on the life, virtues and martyrdom of Calungsod for Filipino migrants.
“We hope to start the catechesis during the Lenten recollection,” he posted in his Facebook account.
In an interview, Msgr. Cristobal Garcia said meditations will focus on Pedro’s life, parallel to the Passion of Christ.
“We have a new saint, so we can imitate him as a model and be inspired by him,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
“His (Calungsod) canonization is really looking at the glory that lies ahead, so we will not feel weakened (by life’s difficulties). With Pedro, we are people who look to him as a champion; neither a catana or a machete will ever defeat us,” he added.
Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged catechist, was killed in Guam on April 2, 1672 along with Jesuit priest Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores, after they baptized a child of one of
Garcia, Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman, related that a simple and often overlooked aspect of Calungsod’s life is linked to the Passion of Christ.
“The natives grabbed the crucifix of Padre Diego de San Vitores and were about to smash it. To show his love, Pedro picked up the crucifix so he became defenseless, and that was the time he was hit on the head with a catana,” he related.
“Pedro literally took up the cross and followed Christ,” he added.
Garcia also explained that Pedro Calungsod is depicted with a palm, which symbolizes triumph, and a cruficix.
Meanwhile, Balili said preparations in Vatican City are underway, as catechesis or Catholic Church teachings are being planned for Filipino migrants in Italy and possibly some other European countries, to spread the word on the life and virtues of the future San Pedro Calungsod.
He added that the initial line-up of activities includes a triduum of masses before the canonization, vigil and penitential service on the night of the canonization, and a thanksgiving mass.
The other Vatican City-based committee chairpersons are Msgr. Joseph Tan on catechism and Fr. Eligio Suico on pilgrims.
Msgr. Achilles Dakay, Archdiocesan media liaison officer and committee head for information dissemination, said preparations are afoot for the traditional Siete Palabras or the meditation on the seven last words of Jesus Christ before his earthly death on the cross.
“All novenas and fiestas should include a teaching on Pedro Calungsod as a lay catechist,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2012.