Devotees flock to greet Calungsod

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CEBU CITY - The image of San Pedro Calungsod arrived in Cebu around noon Tuesday on board a fast craft from Getafe, Bohol.

It was greeted by devotees who lined the streets, waving at the image and offering prayers to the first Visayan martyr.

Msgr. Cayetano Gelbolingo, committee chairman for the promotion of the devotion to San Pedro Calungsod, blessed the image before this was carried to a pickup by a group of former seminarians.


Then the motorcade began its journey to the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Pedro Calungsod inside the Archbishop’s residence on D. Jakosalem St., passing by the Cebu City Hall where employees offered flowers.

Joann Yntig, a 31-year-old food vendor outside the University of the Visayas, told Sun.Star Cebu that she immediately left her stall when she saw the image.

She may have been a few meters from the image, but Yntig said she hopes the saint heard her prayers.

Elmira Bascon, 40, was waiting for a relative in the pier area when she noticed a commotion. When she saw the image at the head of the motorcade, she said she prayed for good health.

She said she is proud that Cebu has its own saint. “Dili na layo ang langit para natong tanan (We’re now closer to God),” she said.

Msgr. Marnell Mejia, who chairs the committee on processions for San Pedro Calungsod’s thanksgiving mass on November 30, said the saint’s journey around the country has been a memorable one.

However, he asked local devotees to avoid mobbing the image.

He also urged the faithful to pray for good weather until the end of the thanksgiving mass.

(Transcript of Tuesday's live blog)

When the image arrived at the shrine, a halo was placed on the wooden image. The halo, which was brought from Rome by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, symbolizes Pedro Calungsod’s rise to sainthood.

The motorcade left at 3 p.m. for the final leg of its journey to the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Lady of Guadalupe, where the first of the Triduum masses was held.

At 3:47 p.m., the motorcade stopped in front of the Provincial Capitol for five minutes to allow provincial employees and officials led by Gov. Gwen Garcia to pay their respects.

Elizabeth Francia, the governor’s chief of staff, said department heads were advised to allow their employees to wait near the flagpole fronting the Capitol building for the motorcade.

San Pedro Calungsod arrives in Cebu from Bohol
HOMECOMING. Devotees welcome home the wooden image of San Pedro Calungsod at the pier area in Cebu City, more than a month after San Pedro’s canonization at the Vatican City in Rome, Italy. The image has just come from Bohol as part of a nationwide church tour.(Alex Badayos)

The grounds, too, were filled with students carrying placards and streamers praising the young saint.

San Pedro Calungsod was canonized at the Vatican City in Rome, Italy last month. When his image was brought back to the Philippines, it embarked on a nationwide tour around key cities.

At the Guadalupe parish, the delegation was met by fireworks at the gate and about a dozen dancing “Pedritos,” boys wearing brown pants and white shirts just like the outfit worn by the pilgrim image of the Visayan saint.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Emilio Bataclan led the celebration with Cebuano Apostolic Nuncio of Korea and Manchuria Osvaldo Padilla and at least 10 priests.

Bataclan, in his homily, said the youth of today have a model in the teenaged saint, who worked as a catechist in Guam with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Calungsod and San Vitores were both killed by natives on April 2, 1672. Calungsod was beatified in March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II and canonized last month by Pope Benedict XVI.

“The young people today are busy with their cellphones, Facebook, iPad. Dili na mobasa og Bibliya (They no longer read the Bible),” said Bataclan.

He said it is a challenge to the Filipinos, particularly to Cebuanos who claim Calungsod was born in Cebu, to spread the faith.

“Faith from listening to the message, which comes from Christ,” said Bataclan.

Today, the motorcade will take the image to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for the second mass that will be celebrated by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes.

Archbishop Palma is also set to bless the galleon that will be symbolically named “San Diego,” in preparation for the fluvial procession before the thanksgiving mass at the South Road Properties on Friday. (BAP/JKV/With a report from OCP/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 28, 2012.

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