About 5,000 Filipinos in Vatican for rites

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Friday, October 12, 2012


CEBU CITY -- When the pilgrim image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod leaves for Rome, Italy next week, Cebuanos are encouraged to go out along the procession and motorcade route and send off the image of Visayan martyr for the canonization rites on October 21.

The send-off activities are part of the final stretch of preparations for the canonization of the second Filipino saint at the St. Peter’s Basilica.

At least 5,000 Filipino pilgrims are attending the canonization rites at the Vatican, including some 200 cardinals, archbishops, bishops and other priests.

The image’s journey out of Cebu would symbolize one of many taken by the teenage catechist who was killed for his faith in the Marianas Islands in the 17th century, said Duaw Lungsod chairman Msgr. Marnell Mejia.

“The Calungsod saga is marked with voyages,” he told a press conference on Thursday. He referred to the journey of Calungsod aboard the galleon called San Diego, from Cavite to the Ladrones Islands, now known as Marianas Islands, where he was killed with Jesuit missionary Blessed Diego Luis de Sanvitores on April 2, 1672.

The voyage of Calungsod’s image on Tuesday will be more comfortable, since his image would be a passenger of a Cathay Pacific flight that will leave Cebu around noon.

Fr. Charles Jayme, the official custodian of the three-foot tall pilgrim image, will take the same flight, where they will be treated as VIPs.

The image will be enclosed in a red case lined with styrofoam and a white satin cloth. The case has handles for ease of transport.

Grace Ho, Cathay Pacific manager, said the container will be placed on the floor of a window seat and secured with a seatbelt.

She said the organizers complied with certain safety requirements, including the size and weight of the package.

The send-off procession on Tuesday, October 16, will start at 4:30 a.m. from the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, where a mass will be celebrated by Msgr. Roberto Alesna at 5:30 a.m.

“This is the last farewell to Blessed Pedro. When he returns, he would already be San Pedro Calungsod,” he added.

Mandaue City Councilor Demetrio Cortes Jr., who is also a Beato Pedro Calungsod choir member, is in charge of the send-off.

By 8 a.m., the motorcade going to the Mactan Cebu International Airport will start, passing through M.J. Cuenco Ave., Barangays Subangdaku, Tipolo and Mantuyong, the National Shrine of St. Joseph, Plaridel St. and the first Mandaue-Mactan bridge.

Students, residents and passersby are encouraged to stay on the roadside during the motorcade so they can also send off the image.

A short ceremony will be held at the airport before its departure.

In Rome, the group of Fr. Jayme will be met by members of the preparations committee there led by Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, the postulator for the cause of Calungsod’s canonization.

Two Cebuano choirs -- the University of the Visayas Chorale and the Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus -- are scheduled to perform during the Triduum of Holy Masses in preparation for the canonization, including the vespers on canonization day and on the thanksgiving mass that would be led by Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu.

The pilgrim image of San Pedro Calungsod is expected to return to the country via Manila on October 24. A grand reception is set to take place as the Duaw Nasud commences.

The pilgrimage to various dioceses around the country ends on November 27.

On November 30, the national thanksgiving mass will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP), following two major processions from the north and south of the city while a fluvial procession from the Ouano wharf in Mandaue will bring the pilgrim image to the template in the SRP. (BAP of Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2012.

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