21 December 2011

Martyred catechist to be second Filipino saint


The Catholic Church on Wednesday welcomed the news that Filipino Blessed Pedro Calungsod was to be declared by the Vatican as a saint.
“That’s a big development to the Philippine Church because we will have another saint aside from San Lorenzo Ruiz,” Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, Media Office director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said in an interview.
The Vatican on Tuesday said Blessed Pedro Calungsod of Cebu is among seven candidates for canonization, the final step to sainthood. No definite date, however, has been set for the canonization rites.
Quitorio said the canonization of Calungsod will serve as inspiration to the youth and catechists.
“If you recall, he left the Philippines in order to join priests in catechizing people somewhere near Guam,” said Quitorio.
Calungsod, a Filipino Catholic, was doing missionary work in Guam in 1672 when he was killed at the age of 17.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the canonization of the Filipino lay catechist and martyr is a call for everyone to value his faith.
“This is a call for us… to value our faith, more especially as the Year of Faith (October 2012) nears,” Pabillo said.
“Here we have a saint, a catechist who sacrificed his life for his faith,” added Pabillo.
Quitorio called on the Filipino faithful to ask for the intercession of Calungsod in view of the tragedy that hit Northern Mindanao brought about by Storm “Sendong.”
“Pray for his intercession that we may be strengthened this time of crisis. May his martyrdom for the faith inspire us Filipinos to serve others unconditionally,” he said.
Beatified on March 5, 2000, by the late Pope John Paul II, Calungsod, if canonized, will be the Philippines’ second saint.
The first is San Lorenzo Ruiz, who was elevated to sainthood on Oct. 18, 1987.
By LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
mb.com.ph

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