Editorial: Reaches of faith-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
PEDRO Calungsod blesses the country in many ways.
The second Filipino to be declared a saint in canonization rites held at the Vatican yesterday, San Pedro has ushered a renaissance, from the spiritual to the cultural and even the entrepreneurial.
In Cebu, the sleepy southern town of Ginatilan demonstrates the reawakening stirred by the Visayan martyr. In its Oct. 21 issue, Sun.Star Cebu reported that town residents and pilgrims braved heavy rains last Oct. 20 to go on a 14-kilometer procession that followed a circuitous, tortuous route said to be followed by San Pedro Calungsod when he began his journey as a teenager residing in the mountain barangay of Cagsing who later met martyrdom as an altar boy-catechist doing apostolic work among the heathens of Guam.
Local and universal
Few documents have surfaced yet to substantiate the details of San Pedro Calungsod’s birth and early life. According to the same Sun.Star Cebu report, many towns in Visayas regard the saint as a town mate because of his common family name. Barangay Cagsing has several residents surnamed Calungsod. There is also a Calungsod clan in the southern town of Boljoon that claims to be his descendants.
It is hoped that local researchers and institutions like the church can pursue the archival search that will bring to light information that will fully limn the life and times of San Pedro Calungsod. This will not only do justice to the life of a believer who, despite his youth and simple roots, made the ultimate sacrifice for his faith. It will also complete the public’s grasp of a story that inspires and works miracles, according to many testimonies of those whose lives were touched by San Pedro Calungsod.
Beyond pride of place, the Visayan martyr is widely regarded as the patron of youths and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). His story needs to be propagated among all who embark on journeys and quests. Even before the sixteenth century, when San Pedro Calungsod was said to be born, until today, uncertainties, challenges and risks continue to be the lot of travelers, in the physical and metaphysical senses.
It is apt that the Visayan who embraced martyrdom while doing apostolic work was beatified and canonized in an age that has the technology and mindset to boost the propagation of faith.
Aside from the efforts of devotees and church leaders, modern communication disseminated information and helped promote the devotion to San Pedro Calungsod.
Reportage by journalists was complemented by advocacy coursed through the Internet.
The online portal enabled a global audience to access the story of San Pedro Calungsod, as well as provided a niche for devotees to have, in one click, related articles, photos, videos and other updates that ensured a critical build-up of attention and focus on the Oct. 21, 2012 canonization.
Indirectly, the websites, blogs and online special reports also promoted other advocacies besides faith. For instance, the Sun.Star website special coverage of San Pedro Calungsod’s canonization (http://specials.sunstar.com.ph/pedrocalungsod/) posts a video link to the Barkada ni Pedro (BNP), an online prayer community that taps the social networking site Facebook to promote prayer and petitions for “health, work, relationships, family, studies, and employment.”
The Cebu Arhdiocese’s official website (http://www.cebuarchdiocese.org/pedro-calungsod/articles/) includes an archive of reports, columns and essays dating as far back as 1999, which trace the efforts of Cebuanos to recognize the far-reaching effects of faith in San Pedro Calungsod.
Truly, in imitation of the zeal a native son of Visayas demonstrated to propagate the faith beyond his time and place, the contemporary faithful can tap modern communications to usher in the “new evangelization.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2012.