In October, another Filipino will be raised to the altars of the saints with the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

After the canonization rites to be led by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Oct. 12, he will be known as “San Pedro de Cebu.”

Fr. Marvin Mejia, assistant secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said in an article posted on that CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has organized three committees in Cebu, at the national level and Rome to prepare for the canonization of Calungsod.

“The preparations include catechesis, to inform the general public of the life of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, to organize pilgrims who will attend the canonization rites in Rome, and to invite national figures to the Thanksgiving Mass in Cebu City scheduled after the canonization,” Mejia said.

There will be five phases in the program of canonization: the pre-announcement phase, post-announcement, pre-canonization rites, canonization rites in Rome, and post-canonization.

In the pre-canonization rites, catechetical conferences on the would-be saint will be held across the country. A national Thanksgiving Mass will be held in Cebu City as part of the post-canonization phase.

Last Dec. 19, Pope Benedict XVI approved the promulgation of decrees for the canonization of Calungsod along with six others, namely, Giovanni Battista Piamarta (Italy), Maria del Carmen (Spain), Jacques Berthieu (France), Anna Schaffer (Germany), Kateri Tekakwitha (US), and Marianne Cope, a German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse in the United States.

Evoking the senses through poetry

The major miracle attributed to Calungsod happened on March 26, 2003 in Cebu when a 49-year-old businesswoman was miraculously healed from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, a condition wherein a person suffers insufficient oxygen supply in the brain.

Calungsod was beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000 at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Calungsod, a lay catechist, will be the second Filipino saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.

Both Calungsod and Ruiz were lay people. The former was a missionary while the latter was a sacristan in Binondo.

Calungsod was a young native from Cebu who, at the age of 14, volunteered as a missionary worker, catechist, and sacristan for the Jesuits’ expedition to the Marianas Islands. With Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores and other Catholics, Calungsod helped in the Christianization of natives in the islands.

After converting an infant and its mother to Christianity, he was caught and killed in 1672. Calungsod and San Vitores were killed by a native with a bone-tip lance. Vitores was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

Several Filipino religious are being eyed to be saints, including Venerable Ignacia del Espiritu Santo and Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo.

Ignacia was the founder of the Religious of Virgin Mary who encouraged members to live in the presence of God. Mother Francisca founded the Beaterio de Santa Catalina and is known for serving and helping the poor. James Bryan J. Agustin


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.