Editorial: San Pedro Calungsod-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
The sainthood process involving the Visayan Pedro Calungsod (Calungsor in old Catholic Church chronicles), together with six other Catholics from other areas of the globe, will end tomorrow with his canonization by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
In Cebu, canonization-related activities will extend for a few more days, capped by a national thanksgiving mass at the South Road Properties (SRP) on Nov. 30. Tomorrow has also been declared by President Noynoy Aquino as National Thanksgiving Day. The President said Calungsod’s life and martyrdom should serve as an inspiration to the Filipinos.
The activities are par for the course considering that a Catholic faithful becoming a saint does not happen often. After almost five centuries since Catholicism was brought to the Philippines by Spain, only two Filipinos have become saints, the other being San Lorenzo Ruiz.
One can attribute this to the Catholic definition of saints, which has evolved from the broad notion, which was that saints are those who believe in Christ and follow his teachings, to the narrow one, which states that saints are those who have become holy by leading “extraordinary lives” of virtue and “who have entered Heaven.”
The last criterion (entrance to heaven) requires proof, thus the need to include in the process of sainthood the presentation of verified miracles attributed to the one being venerated (one miracle for beatification and another miracle for canonization).
By canonizing Calungsod, the Vatican officially recognized him as already being in heaven, in the process officially authorizing his veneration. In more formal terms, Calungsod’s name will already be in the Catholic Church’s catalogue of saints.
This means that his name can be invoked in public prayers, churches may be dedicated in his memory, the mass can be offered in his honor and feast days can be celebrated on his behalf (www.religionfacts.com).
More importantly, the veneration of “San Pedro” would ensure that his practice of his faith becomes a model for the Catholic faithful to follow. It is not enough to invoke his intercession; the more important point from here on is to strive to imitate his heroic virtue.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2012.