Church invites Aquino, Binay to thanksgiving mass for Calungsod-A A +A
Thursday, July 12, 2012
CEBU CITY – President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay have been invited to the National Thanksgiving Mass for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in November.
Calungsod will be canonized as the country’s second saint in October this year or about 50 years after Manila native Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized by now Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said he personally delivered the invitation for Binay at the latter’s office last Wednesday.
The prelate said a concern was raised that the mass was a purely religious celebration that government officials should veer away from in keeping with the principle of separation of Church and State.
“The celebration is not only religious, but (it is) also a national celebration,” said Vidal.
Calungsod will be canonized on October 21 by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome with six other blessed persons in a ceremony that would be attended by at least 900 delegates from the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Pedro Calungsod was a teenage catechist who accompanied Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in Tumhon village in Guam, Marianas. Both were killed on April 2, 1672.
Calungsod was beatified in March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma announced Thursday a 100-day countdown to the canonization during a press conference.
“(The countdown was organized) to drum up the preparations that lead to the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod to sustain the excitement of the people and end up with a great and memorable celebration,” he said.
The activity starts with a mass led by Cardinal Vidal at the Basilica del Sto. Niño at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, to be followed by a 17-vehicle motorcade to Fuente Osmeña where Archbishop Palma will deliver a message and launch the countdown.
Palma said there are at least 20,000 people expected to participate in the event who will be coming from various parishes in Metro Cebu.
He also said a simultaneous activity is set in Manila, which would be led by Manila Archbishop Antonio Tagle.
“At the heart of the preparations is for the people to know more about Pedro Calungsod, he has a beautiful and relevant message of how he lived and died for his faith,” Palma said.
Church officials are still searching for the “perfect” statue that would be brought to Rome in October.
“The painting (of Calungsod) was already approved by the Vatican. The sculpture should be such that it would capture the personality of Beato Pedro,” said Palma, who added that Cardinal Vidal was given the task to choose the church’s official statue.
A statue from Manila would be shipped to Cebu for the Cardinal to compare with other sculptures. The statue would be brought to Rome for the canonization in October and for the Duaw Nasud wherein the image would be visiting several dioceses in the country. (BAP of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2012.