Government hails canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
MALACANANG hailed Saturday the proclamation by the Catholic Church of Blessed Pedro Calungsod as the second Filipino saint.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the canonization of Calungsod further proves the piousness and devotion of the Filipino people to their love for God as a Catholic nation.
The canonization of Calungsod is set at the St. Peter's Square in Rome, Italy on October 21 (Sunday).
"On October 21, 2012, the Catholic world comes together as Pope Benedict XVI proclaims Blessed Pedro Calungsod as Saint of the Catholic Church. This is a day of great spiritual joy and national pride not only for Filipino Catholics, but for all those who call the Philippines their home, especially our countrymen in the Visayas and Mindanao," Valte said in a statement, which she read over government-run Radyo ng Bayan.
She added that some officials of the government and leaders of the Catholic Church, as well as throngs of pilgrims will be at St. Peter's Square to witness the historic spiritual event.
"A delegation of officials led by the Vice President and Secretary Rene Almendras will be present in St. Peter's Square together with the senior prelates of the Philippine Catholic hierarchy and a multitude of pilgrims to witness the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod who has been described as a protomartyr," Valte said.
"Filipino Catholics well recall that it was under the reign of Pope John Paul II - a pontiff who held Filipinos very dear to his heart – and upon the initiation of His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, that the beatification for Calungsod was initiated in 1994 and culminating in his beatification in 2000. In 12 short years, the canonical requirements for his canonization have been fulfilled. We join the Catholic world on this day of solemn commemoration and celebration," she said.
Calungsod, also known as Pedro Calonsor, was born in 1654 in the Visayas and died on April 2, 1672. He was a young Roman Catholic Filipino migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.
While in Guam, Calungsod preached Christianity to the Chamorro people through catechism, while baptizing infants, children and adults at the risk of being persecuted and eventually murdered. Through Calungsod and San Vitores' missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism.
Calungsod was formally beatified on March 5, 2000, by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On February 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced that Calungsod will be canonized on October 21. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)