San Pedro Calungsod-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
THE long and tedious process of beatification and canonization has finally ended for Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod. He was declared a saint by Pope Benedict XVI in a historic and emotion-filled rites late yesterday afternoon (Philippine time) at the St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. The event was attended by thousands of pilgrims from the Philippines and other countries. Aside from Calungsod, there were six other beatos who were canonized: Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai and founder of the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse; Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha of New York, a companion of the Jesuit missionaries in North America; Blessed Jacques Berthieu of France, a Jesuit missionary in Magadascar, who was martyred; Blessed Geovanni Battista Piamarta of Italy, founder of the Holy Family of Nazareth; Blessed Maria Carmen Salles y Barangueras of Spain and founder of the Missionaries Sisters of the Immaculate Conception; and Anna Schaffer of Germany, a lay woman and mystic.
Their images and relics (except for Calungsod) were presented to the Pope during the canonization rite. According to historical research, the bodies of Calungsod and Jesuit mission chief, Fr. Diego Luis San de Vitores, were thrown in the ocean after they were killed by the natives of the Marianas Islands.
Upon the presentation of their images by the postulator, the Pope, speaking in Latin, proclaimed them as saints. The ceremony was followed by a mass.
Filipino pilgrims carried the country’s flag at St. Peter’s Square before and during the ceremony. Millions of Filipinos were glued to their television to witness the memorable event via satellite feed. Reports from Rome said pilgrims were introduced to the seven new saints through the tapestries unfurled on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, with Calungsod’s image hanging third from the right.
This is the third highest place of honor, according to Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, vice postulator for the canonization cause of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. The ranking is decided by three factors; first, martyrs rank higher than non-martyrs; bishops rank higher than priests, who rank higher than religious and lay people.
The atmosphere in the Vatican was solemn during the ceremony, a stark contrast to the atmosphere in the southwestern town of Ginatilan, where Pedro supposedly came from.
Based on the satellite feed from GMA 7 reporter Allan Domingo, the mood in the town was festive.
Residents were jubilant when Pedro was proclaimed a saint. The local government of Ginatilan and the local parish coordinated to make the celebration more colorful and memorable.
It was a momentous event that Filipinos, especially the Bisayas, should be proud of despite the huge expenses that the Archdiocese of Cebu incurred as a result. Some say it was too expensive. Millions were needed. And who says the Roman Catholic Church is poor? Church officials said money was immaterial for the occasion since having someone proclaimed as a saint was something money could not buy. I agree.
While the Catholic Church in the Philippines has been hyping up the martyrdom of Calungsod and urging the faithful to follow his faith and belief, there are people in the church who blatantly violate church dogma. Sad to say, church officials are not doing anything to address the problem. Unya kana sila mas makasasala pa kay kanamo.
Sayang ang mga mithi ug prinsipyo ni Pedro nga wala sunda sa taga simbahan mismo.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2012.