The image of the martyred Pedro Calungsod as imagined by Rafael del Casal (1999).
CEBU CITY, Philippines – After the canonization of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint and the first Filipino martyr in the Vatican City
, on October 18, 1987 by the late Pope John Paul II, it is now time for another Filipino martyr to be canonized soon and that is the Visayan teenager Pedro Calungsod
as announced on February 18 in Vatican as well.
Following over a decade of close examination, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has decreed that the canonization ceremony will take place on Sunday 21 October.
Just during the celebration of Benedict XVI’s fourth ordinary consistory of pontification
, he also created 22 new cardinals held at St. Peter's Basilica at 10.30 a.m. this morning of the mentioned latter date.
After the said ceremony, Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, introduced the ordinary public consistory for the canonization of the following blessed, which included Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr along with Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits); Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord; Maria del Carmen (nee Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; Maria Anna Cope (nee Barbara), German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A.; Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman, and Anna Schaffer, German laywoman. The consistory concluded with the apostolic blessing.A Model for Today’s Youth
An image of the soon-to-be saint, Pedro Calungsod etched on a stained glass.
As a youth back then, Calungsod is seen as a model for catechists and missionaries, a fitting parafon of virtue for today’s younger generation.
The late Pope John Paul II said during Calungsod’s beatification, “Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist.”
Calungsod’s death was a classic example of a ‘good soldier of Christ’ when the young martyr chose to die at San Vitores’ side, according to the late Pope.
“Today Blessed Pedro Calungsod intercedes for the young, in particular, those of his native Philippines, and he challenges them. Young friends, do not hesitate to follow the example of Pedro, who 'pleased God and was loved by him' and who, having come to perfection in so short a time, lived a full life,” challenged the youth.Calungsod’s Stirring Story qualifies him to be a Saint
An image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Plaza Colon, Cebu City
It was the Archdiocese of Cebu that pushed Calungsod’s sainthood. Pedro was around 18 years old when he was martyred in Guam on April 2, 1627. He died alongside Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Jesuit missionary, after locals persecuted them due to alleged poisoning they caused through the baptism ritual.
In 2000, Blessed Pope John Paul II beatified Calungsod, recognizing him as worthy of local veneration after a first miracle was attributed to his intercession.
Through a second miracle attributed to the martyr that which made him closer to sainthood as verified by the Vatican then he will be recognized for universal veneration after the canonization.
As opposed to other religious beliefs, based on the Catholic Church’s Catechism, saints are not to be worshipped, but only for God, it explains, “By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity in God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors.”