Vidal urges prayers for Pedro pilgrims

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Monday, October 15, 2012

CEBU Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal wants pilgrims to pray to the seven blessed, including Beato Pedro Calungsod, who will be canonized in Rome on Sunday.

Vidal, who opened the cause for sainthood of Calungsod two decades ago, left last night to attend the triduum masses and other activities in Rome, Italy.

Before leaving, Cardinal Vidal shared some thoughts about Blessed Pedro’s life as a catechist in Guam in his homily at yesterday morning’s mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.


He cited the Bible reading on the young, rich man who was told by Jesus to give up his wealth as a step toward heaven and who walked away.

“We have the example of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, who left a peaceful and easy life in the Philippines to follow a hard life in Guam,” said Vidal.

“He (Calungsod) was not there for adventurism but to help as a sacristan and in the evangelization in Guam,” he said.

Calungsod, a teenaged catechist, was part of the Jesuit mission sent to teach catechism at the Ladrones Islands or the Marianas Islands in the late 1600s.

The boy from the Visayas was the sacristan of Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores. They were killed by the natives in Guam.


Padre Diego was beatified on Oct. 6, 1985 while Pedro Calungsod was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in March 2000.

When he was archbishop of Cebu, Vidal appointed Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson to be the postulator for the cause of the sainthood of Calungsod.

Based on the timeline prepared by Leyson, Calungsod’s name and manner of death were mentioned in the documents used for the cause of beatification of San Vitores while the diocesan process for the cause of the beatification of Calungsod in Cebu started in November 1994.

He also said only a painting of Calungsod, which was done by famous religious painter Rafael del Casal, was brought to Rome for the beatification rites.

The prelate was happy and amused that the pilgrim image of the Visayan martyr would be treated like a person and travel to Rome as an airline passenger and not as a cargo.

“For those who can’t go to Rome, they should find ways to watch the (canonization) rites on TV or to attend mass,” he said.


“This (event) is something special, he (Calungsod) belongs to us. We are very much
honored for this occasion,” he said.

Vidal reminded the pilgrims to Rome to attend the event.

Provincial Board Member Alex Binghay and some Toledo City officials will witness the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod on Oct. 21 in Rome.

Toledo Vice Mayor Arlene Zambo said they will leave on Wednesday together with Binghay’s wife, Balamban Vice Mayor Rosario Veloso-Binghay.

Zambo said five councilors of Toledo will also attend the canonization of the first Cebuano saint.

She said they are using their personal funds for the event.

The vice mayor said it is a spiritual journey for them to witness the canonization of the second Filipino saint.

Two councilors of Mandaue City will witness the canonization rites on Sunday.

Councilor Nenita Layese left the country last Oct. 3. She filed her certificate of candidacy for councilor a day earlier. She left early because she has other places to visit.

Councilor Demetrio Cortes Jr. will leave for Rome within the week.

Cortes, a Beato Pedro Calungsod choir member, is in charge of the send-off procession for the pilgrim image of the Visayan martyr on Tuesday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2012.

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