500,000 Calungsod devotees ‘to attend’ mass-A A +A
Thursday, November 29, 2012
CEBU CITY -- All eyes will be on Cebu today, Friday, as it celebrates the canonization of the first Visayan martyr San Pedro Calungsod at the South Road Properties (SRP).
Some 500,000 devotees from different parts of the country are expected to attend.
Also expected at the event, which is spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Cebu, are high-ranking church officials, including Vatican City-based Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation of Saints; and newly installed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Government officials will be led by President Benigno Aquino III.
Two foot processions, one with 45 carrozas from parishes north of Cebu and the other with 31 carrozas from the south, will meet at the mass site.
The assembly points for the carrozas from northern Cebu are on Osmeña Blvd., Legazpi St. and V. Gullas or Manalili St. The assembly point for the carrozas from the southern parishes will be at the Talisay Fish Port.
The mass will start when the pilgrim image of the second Filipino saint arrives. Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who will also be the homilist, will preside over the mass.
A fluvial procession that will leave the Ouano Wharf in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City at 1 p.m. will take the pilgrim image to the templete at the SRP.
Cebu Coast Guard (CG) Commander Rolando Punzalan said a tugboat, three motorbancas and another sea vessel have registered to join the fluvial procession.
The pilgrim image will be on board a galleon that was blessed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma late Wednesday afternoon.
Palma, in an interview with reporters, said the fluvial procession will depict the travel of Calungsod to Guam, where the martyr died as a catechist in the late 1600s.
Palma said the galleon that took Calungsod to Guam “was God’s instrument of bringing him and offering his life for the faith.”
“This is also a reminder that life is a journey,” Palma added.
He urged the faithful to emulate Calungsod. “We may not die as a martyr but daily offering of love is one form of martyrdom,” he said.
Punzalan said the procession will travel five nautical miles and will arrive at the SRP after two hours.
The CG official said they could accommodate 200 sea vessels, but only five registered until the deadline Thursday noon.
“What we have in mind is a successful fluvial procession, regardless of the number of participating sea vessels,” Punzalan said.
Some 30 sea crafts of the CG and the Philippine Navy will assist in the procession.
Punzalan said they will apprehend sea vessels that will join the procession without a permit from the Maritime Industry Authority and the CG.
Archbishop Palma said he is confident that today’s (Friday) thanksgiving mass, which is expected to draw thousands of devotees, will be successful.
“The committees worked really hard so we believe that everything will be ready,” he said.
President Aquino will deliver a message after the mass, followed by a cultural presentation. The day will end with a grand fireworks display.
Palma urged the public to pray for good weather, as rain hampered the earth-moving activities at the 27-hectare mass site earlier this month.
The weather forecast for today (Friday), as issued by the weather bureau Pagasa, is “mainly fine weather, sunny in daytime, warm then partly cloudy in the evening. No chance of rain.”
Meanwhile, a Pilgrim Assistance Center has been set up at the Compaña Maritima building.
The center will have a wide screen where pilgrims, who cannot go to the templete, can watch the event through live streaming.
Two to three cameras at the templete will be used in the live streaming.
With the help of the Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication, the video will be captured by a server and projected through wireless connectivity.
The cameras can pan, tilt and zoom. Control of the videos will be at the makeshift office at the center.
Sun.Star’s live streaming of the thanksgiving mass, on the other hand, will be done in partnership with Smart Communications Inc. Aside from the thanksgiving mass, Sun.Star will also cover live the fluvial and foot procession, cultural show and fireworks display.
Meanwhile, those with tents can stay overnight at the pilgrim center. Showers and 13 portable toilets have also been put in place.
Snacks will be provided by a local bakery chain. (BAP/RSB/JGA/Sun.Star Cebu/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 30, 2012.