Fr. San Vitores’s canonization process remains unclear-A A +A
Thursday, July 26, 2012
WHILE the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod is only less than three months away, the process for his companion in the Marianas Islands, however, remains unclear.
Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores was the Spanish Jesuit priest who died with Calungsod on April 2, 1672 and was beatified in 1985.
Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, postulator for the cause of Calungsod’s sainthood, said that the process for the beatification for San Vitores began about 10 months after his death.
“It was ordered by the Bishop of Cebu at that time,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Leyson wrote in his book “Pedro Calonsor Bissaya: Prospects of a Teenage Filipino,” the first process for the cause of beatification of San Vitores took place in Guam on Jan. 9, 1673 or 10 months after his death.
Other successive processes were held in Mexico from 1676 to 1679; Manila from 1676 to 1677; and in Toledo, Spain from 1688 to 1689.
“However, due to the suppression of the Society of Jesus in the 18th century, the cause fell into oblivion,” Leyson wrote.
After this period, San Vitores was beatified by now Blessed Pope John Paul II on Oct. 6, 1985.
Leyson, in an interview, said he asked the postulator for the cause of San Vitores for an update but there was none.
“There are people who look at him (San Vitores) as a colonizer. But I doubt that because he prohibited his companions, like Pedro Calungsod, from bringing weapons,” said Leyson.
He also said that the documents used for Calungsod’s beatification were also used for San Vitores.
Among the documents is a letter detailing the story of the sacrifice of Calungsod and San Vitores written by their companion, Fr. Francisco Solano S.J., the superior of the mission in the Ladrones Islands (former name for the Mariana Islands).
The letter, dated April 26, 1672 or only 24 days after the death of Calungsod and San Vitores, is kept in the archives of the Jesuits and was addressed to former companions of Calungsod in the Marianas Mission.
According to the website of the Jesuit Curia in Rome, San Vitores was born of noble parents in Burgos, Spain and he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1640 and studied philosophy and theology in Alcalá de Henares before being ordained on Dec. 23, 1651.
He was assigned to the Philippine missions in 1659. During his five years in Manila, San Vitores also did missionary work in the interior of Luzon and on the island of Mindoro.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 26, 2012.