Canonization 2012


Palma on Calungsod preparation: We’re on schedule

By Bernadette A. Parco

SunStar Daily
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

THE Catholic Church’s preparation for the canonization of Visayan martyr Blessed Pedro Calungsod is on track, said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

Palma issued a circular to all parishes to join a grand procession that will take place before the national thanksgiving mass on Nov. 30, 2012 at the South Roads Properties (SRP).

Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Calungsod with six other blessed persons in a ceremony that is expected to be attended by 900 delegates from the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Pedro Calungsod was a teenage catechist who accompanied Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in Tumhon village in Guam, Marianas, where they were killed on April 2, 1672.

Calungsod was beatified in March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

“The laborious part is the construction (of the site for the celebration) and there were certain concerns that were raised,” said Palma.

“ filling materials (but we already received more than enough filling materials) that came from donations. People are giving and donating,” he said.

What is left to do is build the road network, the templete and the frames for the lighting system, among other infrastructure requirements.

“We have all the resources and financial support. I’m excited. For me, we can make it, it is not a very big concern,” he said.

Palma said he is meeting with representatives of various construction companies who want to contribute to the Church’s projects.

“We are on schedule,” he said.

Palma issued circulars for the grand procession and the identification of the parishes that will have carrozas at the SRP.

In a circular dated Aug. 16, 2012, Palma directed parish priests to form a contingent to the procession and to appoint parish procession coordinators.

Palma issued a second circular on the same date for the selection of 72 out of the 140 parishes in the archdiocese that will put up carrozas for the procession.

In the north, some of the parishes are the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Redemptorist, Recoletos, Sto. Rosario, Canduman in Mandaue City, and the towns of Tuburan, Bantayan and Balamban.

In the south, some of the 32 parishes tasked to prepare carrozas are Pardo, Labangon, Punta Princesa, Minglanilla, Sibonga, Oslob, Boljoon, Ginatilan, Toledo and Guadalupe.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2012.

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Palma: Church on track for Mass

Cebu Daily News
September 11, 2012

Despite scaling down the templete to be built in the South Road Properties (SRP), the Cebu Archdiocese has “all the resources it needs” in hosting the Thanksgiving Mass for the canonization of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod this November.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma assured  that preparations for the national thanksgiving mass are on right.

“We’re on schedule. We will not postpone the Thanksgiving Mass,” he said in jest.

Palma said physical preparations are the “most laborious part” with a lot to be done. Last month  the committee on venue called for donations of filling materials to level the site the raise the foundation of the templete by several feet.

Actual construction of the templete t the corner lot next SM Seaside City at the SRP has not yet begun as site development is still ongoing.

Palma said this was no cause for worry. He said  he  met last Friday with construction companies who asked  how they could help.  One of them, SM Prime Holdings, earlier assured it would develop the entire site for the historic event.

While they will have to make do with what they have, the Catholics Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president said they “expect some more” donations especially for the “finishing touches.”

The Thanksgiving Mass on November 30 follows the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod October 21 and the national pilgrimage around the country.

Organizers of the Thanksgiving Mass are looking for donors of filling and construction materials to help backfill the 29-hectare lot to be used as the venue for the activity.

The cost of building the templete was scaled down from P10 million to P5 million.

The Cebu Archdiocese said it has so far gathered more than P30 million in donations for the Mass or about half of their P60 million target.

Temporary shelters will be provided by the Cebu City government for pilgrims attending the   Triduum masses or three-day masses before the Nov. 30 event.

The traveling image of Calungsod will leave the country for Rome on Oct. 16. It will be brought back to the country on Oct. 25 for the “Duaw Nasud” (national visitation) for trips to various parts of the Philippines before returning to Cebu on Nov. 27.

Correspondent Jessa Chrisna Marie J. Agua with a story from Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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Church: We’ve Raised Enough Calungsod Funds

By Marigold P. Lebumfacil/JPM

(The Freeman) Updated September 08, 2012

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma discloses that the Church has already have what they need in terms of resources in preparation for the thanksgiving mass for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

“Thanks be to God that people are very generous and people are cooperative. We have what we need in terms of resources… in terms of support and funds we already have it,” he added.

The other day, Palma and the organizing committee had a meeting to focus on the huge job needed to be completed.

“The area is so big. If you look at it, there are so many certain concerns like the filling materials, though Fr. Raul (Gallego) said nagsobra na ang mga filling materials but they have to do the road networks and the light,” he said.

Palma said that aside from SM, construction companies also voluntarily went to him to offer help. The construction of the Pedro Calungsod templete at the South Road Properties is ongoing. It will be the venue of the National Thanksgiving Mass on November 30 in honor of Calungsod’s canonization and will also be the newest addition to the heritage sites in Cebu.

Earlier, Fr. Brian Brigoli, the vice chairperson of the Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church, explained the different segments of the templete.

The center of it is the sanctuary where the sacred altar table will be placed. There will be a space dedicated for the bishops or celebrants and the area can accommodate about 150 bishops.

There will be a fire-made light structure at the center which symbolizes the “transcendence of faith” just like the martyrdom of Pedro Calungsod. The end of the pyramid structure at the apex will be the cross.

Aside from the approximately 1,500-square-meter-templete, the venue will have a vesting area, operation center, press center, police and security center, power lines, media stand, Blessed Sacrament chapels, souvenir stores, first aid stations, water stations, food stalls, and portable toilets.

Off-site, a parking area will be provided for vehicles of church dignitaries, vehicles for elderly and persons with disability, buses for out of town and Cebu pilgrims and emergency vehicles.

The organizing committee is still expecting more donations. The committee on the preparations for the canonization released a list of people who are the only ones allowed to solicit funds to ensure that the money given would be used as intended.

The canonization of Beato Pedro Calungsod in Rome, Italy will be this October 21.

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HOLINESS: SUCH A FRIGHTENING PROSPECT

Through Untrue

By FR. ROLANDO V. DE LA ROSA, O.P.
August 18, 2012, 7:48pm

BARELY two months from now, the Catholic Church will officially and solemnly recognize Pedro Calungsod, who died in Guam in the 17th century, as the second Filipino saint. Like Lorenzo Ruiz (the first Filipino saint who was martyred in Japan), Calungsod died violently. While defending a missionary priest, Calungsod was struck by a spear and his skull was split by a machete blow. His body was thrown into the sea.

With them as models of sanctity, we cannot help thinking that holiness implies a brutal death, or at least, a great amount of pain and sacrifice. That is perhaps why very few people aspire to become saints. It is a frightening prospect.

Sanctity is fearful because it demands that we risk all. But to surrender everything, including our life, for a noble cause seems to go against the human instinct of self-preservation. Even in ordinary human relationship, we tend to withhold something, lest, in the event that we are deceived, we might be left with nothing. If you read the lives of the saints, the last temptation many of them underwent was to give in to the fear of being deceived by God. Even Jesus Himself exclaimed: “My God, why have You abandoned Me?” No matter how complete or fulfilling a human relationship is, deception is an ever-present possibility.

Sanctity also demands that we take the leap in the dark. To be a saint, we must give up our sense of security, safety, and certainty in exchange for what is simply promised. John Henry Newman wrote: “Faith requires that we risk what we have for what we have not, thereby trusting God’s word in a noble and generous way.” But it is frightening to step out of our familiar world and embrace the unfamiliar. What guarantee do we have that we have made the right choice?

The bottom line is, holiness is frightening because it demands something we cannot do. But C.S. Lewis wrote: “Holiness is difficult not because of something we cannot do, but because of something which we cannot stop doing.” Oftentimes, the road to sanctity begins when we find the courage to stop doing those things that satisfy us for a while but leave us empty and lonely in the end.

Despite these fears, the call to holiness is not given to a few blessed mortals like Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod. The theme of the canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz expresses it best: “To die for the faith is a call to some; to live for the faith is a call to all.” The invitation to live our faith in the ordinary event of our life is given to all, without exception.

The quest for holiness is the greatest game all of us are called to join. But the opportunity to join is given only within our limited lifetime. What is, perhaps, truly frightening about the game of holiness is this: For a game to be won, it must be possible to lose it.

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In Philippines, US, Catholics prepare to welcome new teen saint

By Simone Orendain
Catholic News Service [Aug 14, 2012]

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — Catholics in the Philippines and the U.S. are preparing to celebrate the Oct. 21 canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, a teen catechist killed in Guam in the 17th century.

Witness accounts in the records of Jesuit missionaries show Blessed Pedro died trying to protect his mentor, Jesuit Father Diego Jose Luis San Vitores, a missionary who was also killed in the attack. Two Chamorro chiefs pursued the missionaries when they learned Father San Vitores had baptized a chief’s daughter without his consent.

Blessed Pedro, a native of Cebu province in the Philippines, “was the first to be attacked in the assault,” explained Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson of the Cebu Archdiocese. “And they marveled how he was so skillful in evading the darts of the spears … until finally he was hit in the chest. He fell and the other assassin split his skull.”

Blessed Pedro’s martyrdom has captured the imagination of some admirers, but it was his intercession that made the Vatican take notice.

Msgr. Leyson, rector of the Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, spent about 15 years looking into Blessed Pedro’s history. He was part of a team of clergy that had to verify miraculous works attributed to the martyr, who was beatified in 2000. Msgr. Leyson said there were many claims of sick people being healed because they asked for Blessed Pedro’s intercession.

In 2003, an unnamed patient recovered from a type of deep coma that is rarely survived. When such patients do survive, they normally remain in a vegetative state.

One afternoon a doctor in Cebu, who worried he might lose his patient, implored Blessed Pedro to intercede, and four hours later the patient started showing vital signs, according to Msgr. Leyson. Over several weeks, the patient — who had never heard of Blessed Pedro — was up and about. Scientists could not explain the situation, and the Vatican’s team of expert doctors and clergy studied the phenomenon for six years before deeming it a miracle in 2011.

Msgr. Leyson said the archdiocese is careful not to focus on the identity person who was healed to respect their privacy and to help keep a spiritual perspective.

“We would want that the attention should be focused on God, who did the miracle,” he said. “And to Pedro Calungsod whose intercession it was that occasioned the miracle … otherwise we would be worshipping something else!”

In Seattle, Deacon Fred Cordova of Immaculate Conception Church took note of Blessed Pedro when he learned about the miracle. The 81-year old Filipino-American was born to Filipino parents and was raised in the United States.

Deacon Cordova is a retired historian, and he helped found the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Guild in 2005. He said he thinks of Blessed Pedro as a friend, and the guild founders thought that, in the spirit of friendship, his impending sainthood would be a good way to bring Filipino-American Catholics together and help them feel at home in their adopted culture.

“They may go into a parish and not feel ownership … like they’re there just as guests,” Deacon Cordova told Catholic News Service by phone. “We try and make them feel very much a part, to participate in everything of parish life besides just the sacraments, besides just the liturgy.”

Deacon Cordova said the guild has received generous donations toward planned celebrations and events around Blessed Pedro’s canonization.

Another group is preparing for Blessed Pedro’s ascension to sainthood through the +Big Movement in Manila. One of the movement’s founders, Clarke Nebrao, is a lay missionary who wanted to commemorate the Cebu Archdiocese’s “Year of Missions” by looking to Blessed Pedro as an example.

“We thought of ‘plus big’ because he didn’t do anything big (before he was martyred),” said Nebrao. “But everything he did became so significant that we know that in our life today, if we do small acts of kindness, small acts of goodness (for) others through the mission, eventually the Lord will magnify that life that you have given and the life that you have lived for him.”

END

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Work starts on ‘holy, historic’ site

By Bernadette A. Parco

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

THE construction work officially started yesterday on the site of the national thanksgiving mass for the sainthood of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

The mass will be held on Nov. 30 or almost a month after Pope Benedict XVI leads the canonization rites for Calungsod and six other blessed persons in Rome, Italy.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the head of the national preparations committee for the canonization activities, led the blessing at the South Road Properties (SRP) where a templete or place for mass is being built.

“This place will now become a historical site,” the prelate said in his message to the participants. He also called on the people to join the celebration and “make the place holy and historical.”

Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and church officials including Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, Vicars General Monsignori Roberto Alesna and Cayetano Gelbolingo.

Cardinal Vidal and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma earlier sent a letter to Rama seeking the declaration of the templete as a heritage site.

In a separate interview, Rama said he supports the prelates’ stand but the letter of request still had to be sent to the City Council and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC).

“It is not a problem with the mayor, as long as everything is complied with,” he told reporters.

Governor Garcia also expressed support for the request, telling the reporters that “we believe he comes from the province of Cebu. He (Blessed Pedro Calungsod) should be given a monumental honor.”

“The canonization, which happens once in many generations, deserves a landmark,” she added.

Calungsod was a teenaged catechist who served with the Jesuit mission in the Marianas from June 1668 until his death on April 2, 1672.

The template, or shrine, is the structure where the mass and other spiritual activities after the canonization rites of Calungsod in Rome will be celebrated.

Cardinal Vidal also presided over the meeting of the preparations committee held at the Archbishop’s Residence after the groundbreaking rites at the SRP.

He told reporters the committee is moving to the next phase after all the preparatory works of the various committees were approved yesterday.

“We have not seen any obstacle (in the preparations). Everybody is trying to do their work assigned to them,” said Cardinal Vidal.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 08, 2012.

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Building of Calungsod templete in SRP begins

By Ador Vincent Mayol, South Road Properties (SRP)
Cebu Daily News

Construction has started for the templete or small temple for the Nov. 21 national thanksgiving Mass for soon-to-be-declared saint Pedro Calungsod.

“This will become a historical place,” said Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who led the groundbreaking rites yesterday at the South Road Properties (SRP), where the pyramid-like structure will rise.

He said half a million to one million Cebuanos and guests, high dignitaries in the church and the government are expected to attend “so we really have to make this beautiful.”

“This is a fulfillment of our dreams, therefore we thank God for allowing us to witness this day.”

The 81-year-old prelate signed the building plan before it was placed in a time capsule that was buried in the ground.

The Archdiocese of Cebu is hoping the templete, where the altar table will be placed, will be preserved as a landmark after the event, a suggestion supoorted by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia who attended the rites.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the decision rests with the City Council.

The templete will rise on 1,200 square meters of reclaimed land of the Cebu City government.

The venue was chosen after SM tycoon Hans Sy offered to backfill and prepare the site for free. The site is located beside the proposed SM Seaside City, an 80-hectare complex which Sy hopes to open in 2014.

Fr. Brian Brigoli, who helped design the templete, said the committee on venue is working to have it preserved.

“We will ask the Cebu City government that a portion of this lot would be given and entrusted to the church for the memory of the celebration,” he told reporters.

The centerpiece will be the sanctuary where the altar table will be placed. About 300 bishops will occupy the temple.

Also present in the groundbreaking were Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, philantropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, SM Prime Holdings vice president Marissa Fernan, local church officials, architects, and engineers.

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Construction Of Calungsod ‘Templete’ Begins

By PHOEBE JEN INDINO and MARS W. MOSQUEDA JR.

August 8, 2012, 4:51pm

CEBU CITY — As part of the preparation for the canonization of the second Filipino saint Pedro Calungsod, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal last Tuesday led top government and Catholic Church officials in the groundbreaking for the templete dedicated to Calungsod.

The templete or small temple, located in the South Road Properties, will house the altar and liturgical activities for the country’s thanksgiving Mass in honor of Calungsod, slated on November 30.

Calungsod and six other blessed persons will be canonized on October 21 in the Vatican.

Vidal was accompanied by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia during the ground-breaking ceremony.

“This place will now become a historical site,” Vidal said as he called on the people to join the celebration and “make the place holy and historical.”

The construction of the templete is expected to last for one month, Fr. Raul Gallego, chairman of the committee of venue said in an earlier interview.

It features a triangular cover at the center, and a palm design reaching upward with a cross on top.

Moreover, part of the structure may remain as “landmark” after the national thanksgiving Mass

Fr. Brian Brigoli, vice chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church, said the pyramid-like structure in the center “symbolizes transcendence of faith, just like what Pedro Calungsod did, it’s also a transcendence of self.”

The Catholic Church officials also asked the Cebu City Government to declare the location, where the national celebration for Calungsod’s canonization will be held, as a heritage site. Rama vowed to support the proposal, which has to be approved first by the city council.

“This area deserves to be declared as a heritage site and it would be a fitting monument and tribute to ‘San Pedro Calungsod de Cebu’,” Garcia said.

Organizers said that the templete will be made of indigenous materials and would be large enough to hold around 300 bishops and priests. A palm leaf, such as the one held by Pedro Calungsod in his image, will be the main design of the structure, sweeping upward from above the triangular roof, symbolizing his great martyrdom.

[http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/368965/construction-of-calungsod-templete-begins]

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Statue from Laguna to arrive on Friday

By Bernadette A. Parco

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A LIFE-SIZE wooden statue of Blessed Pedro Calungsod is being sculpted in the town of Paete, Laguna Province.

Its features are based on the descriptions of Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

The statue, which can be about five feet tall or about the same height of an adolescent boy, will be brought to Cebu on Friday by Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, SJ, the superior of the Loyola House of Theology.

Artist

Vidal said he doesn’t know who the sculptor is, but it may be Justino Cagayat Jr., who also hails from Paete. The Jesuit congregation had commissioned Cagayat to sculpt other religious statues.

Cagayat was responsible for the 61-inch statue of Calungsod that stands at the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cebu City.

Five statues are being considered as the official image that the 900-member Cebu delegation led by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Cardinal Vidal will bring to Rome in October for the canonization rites of Calungsod.

Calungsod, a lay catechist, was killed by natives in the village of Tumhon in Guam along with Jesuit priest, Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, for spreading the Catholic faith.

Specifications

“I told him (Quilong-quilong) about the features. Youthful, not like San Lorenzo (Ruiz) who was a husband and a father. (He should) look like a Filipino, not mestizo,” Vidal told reporters yesterday.

The statue of the teenaged Visayan martyr should be carrying a Doctrina Cristiana book, since he was a catechist, Vidal said. It should also be carrying a palm, as a symbol of martyrdom, which should be attached to the body so venerating pilgrims will not break it, he added.

The statue should be wearing black pants and must be portrayed to be “on the move.”

Another hand-carry

Vidal said the image of Calungsod may be shown wearing sandals.

“I was told that because of the rough terrain, they may have been wearing some protection for the feet,” he said.

He said woodcarvers from Paete are known for their craft and the wooden religious sculptures they make are unique because these can “move.”

Aside from the official statue of Calungsod, Vidal said they will also bring the painting depicting his martyrdom, which currently hangs at the sacristy of the Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod inside the compound of the archbishop’s residence.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 25, 2012.

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Vidal to choose official Calungsod image on Friday

By Niña G. Sumacot/FPL (The Freeman) Updated July 25, 2012

CEBU, Philippines – The Archbishop emeritus of Cebu, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, will choose on Friday the official image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod which will be used in the canonization on October 21.

Cardinal Vidal, who is tasked to select the official icon of the martyred Cebuano, will choose from among the five images of Blessed Pedro Calungsod available in the country. Four of which were made in Cebu while the last one is a wooden sculpture currently being carved in Paete, Laguna.

The last image is scheduled to be finished soon and will be in Cebu on Friday in time for the scheduled selection. The prelate said the sculpture will stand over 5 feet tall, or about the size of an average 17-year-old Filipino.

Vidal said that it was only last week, during a gathering in Manila that Church leaders decided to make another image of Calungsod in Paete, which is known for wood carvings. This latest statue will conform to the desired image laid down by the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Contrary to what was agreed upon earlier, Vidal said, Calungsod will not be presented barefoot.

“May something na to protect his feet but simpleng sandal lang,” he said, adding that accounts they have gathered showed that slippers were already used in the 1670s.

The Cardinal said Calungsod’s icon will be that of a young man to distinguish him from Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, who was a family man. He will also have the looks of a Filipino, particularly of a Bisaya.

His image will hold the Doctrina Christiana or Book of Catechism and a palm leaf which symbolizes his martyrdom will be attached to his body. Instead of white long pants, the image will wear a pair of pants that is a little bit black and a little bit short to differ from Ruiz

“Calungsod’s image must be on the move, not stationary. So naka-move forward ang isang paa niya,” the Cardinal said.

Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, a Cebuano priest and superior of House of Theology, will bring the said image from Paete to Cebu.

Pedro Calungsod, who died in 1672, was a young Catholic Filipino sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, was persecuted and killed while doing missionary work in Guam.

He was beatified on March 5, 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II and is set to be canonized in Rome on October 21. — (FREEMAN)

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Vidal to consider image from Paete

[Cebu Daily News 7/25/2012]

An image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod made in Paete, Laguna is coming to Cebu on Friday.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the image was purposely made to match the features he wanted to have for the Calungsod’s “model statue.”

The image from Paete, which is known for its best wooden sculptors, will be presented by Rev. Fr. Jose Quilongquilong to the cardinal.

Vidal, who started Calungsod’s cause for sainthood, will choose one among five statues that will become the official image of the Visayan martyr.

“I told him (Fr. Quilongquilong) that the features we would like (to have) is that of a young man,” the 81-year-old prelate said in a press conference in his residence at the Sto. Village in barangay Banilad, Cebu City yesterday.

Vidal said Calungsod’s image should not depict the features of a mestizo.

“It must have the looks of a Filipino, not a mestizo. And not only a Filipino but a Bisaya. The one being used in the shrine is a mestizo,” he said.

The image should hold palm leaves and carry the Doctrina Christiana or the Book of Catechism in his hands.

“He (Calungsod) must be bringing the Doctrina Cristinana since he was a catechist. Since he was a martyr, the palm must be attached to the body so people won’t touch that one,” the cardinal said.

The palm symbolizes martyrs who offered their lives for the Lord.

Also, Vidal said Calungsod’s image should be “on the move” to depict movement from one place to another as shown by catechists in evangelizing people.

The image will also wear simple sandals and not be barefooted as earlier announced.

Vidal said the image from Paete measures about five feet tall.

The image that will be chosen by Vidal will be used for the Oct. 21 canonization rites in Rome.

The Archdiocese of Cebu wants to make sure that the faithful will be able to distinguish between Calungsod and San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.

Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was canonized in 1987. His statue commonly portrays him wearing a white barong Tagalog and black pants. Most of his images show Lorenzo clasping and holding a rosary.

Calungsod will have white pants, will hold palm leaves and the Doctrina Christiana.

Calungsod’s painting which has been used in the Churches and during the beatification of the Visayan martyr in 2000 will remain as is because it was already approved by the Vatican. /Ador Vincent S. Mayol

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Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s Canonization Countdown

MANILA, Philippines – The Archdiocese of Cebu started its 100-day countdown on July 14, 2012, for the canonization of the Visayan martyr Blessed Pedro Calungsod by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, in a ceremony on October 21, 2012, at the Vatican in Rome. Blessed Calungsod will be canonized a decade after he was beatified by Pope, now Blessed John Paul II, on March 5, 2000, and almost 25 years after Vatican canonized the first Filipino saint and martyr, Lorenzo Ruiz, on October 18, 1987.

Historical research showed that Blessed Calungsod was born in Cebu. Working as a sacristan and teacher of cathecism, he accompanied the Jesuits on their mission to Ladrones Island at the age of 14. He passed away while on a missionary mission in Guam at the age of 17 on April 2, 1672.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints confirmed the canonization of Blessed Calungsod. On December 19, 2011, the Vatican verified a miracle attributed to him in 2002, when a Leyte woman who fell into coma after a heart attack was brought back to life the doctor prayed for his intercession. Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing. The Vatican officially set April 2 as Blessed Calungsod’s feast day, the anniversary of his martyrdom. After his canonization, Blessed Calungsod will be officially called “San Pedro de Cebu.”

Blessed Calungsod’s faith in God, his missionary zeal, and miracles served as an inspiration to Filipinos. He will be canonized along with six others – Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha of New York, United States of America, Blessed Jacques Berthieu of France, Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta of Italy, Blessed Carmen Salles y Barangueras of Spain, and Blessed Anna Schaffer of Germany.

We join the Catholic Church, headed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, led by its President, Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, the Archdiocese of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle, the Province of Cebu, led by Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia; and Cebu City, led by Mayor Michael L. Rama, in their spiritual undertakings to prepare for the canonization of the second Filipino saint, Blessed Pedro Calungsod. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY! [Manila Bulletin, July 21, 2012]

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Countdown starts for Pedro Calungsod canonization

By Bernadette A. Parco

Sunday, July 15, 2012

CEBU CITY — Roman Catholic leaders in Cebu and Metro Manila launched on Saturday the celebration of “100 days of grace” until the country’s second saint, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, is officially recognized.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma led the launch at the Fuente Osmeña in Cebu City of the countdown to October 21, when Calungsod will be canonized with six other blessed persons by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.

“In Manila, a similar activity was launched by Manila Archbishop Antonio Luis Tagle with former Ambassador (to Vatican City) Henrietta de Villa and others, who launched the countdown during the first Catholic Social Media Summit in Marikina City,” said Archbishop Palma.

In Fuente Osmeña, hundreds gathered, including university students, members of church-based organizations, catechists, priests, and religious congregations.

The Parian Youth presented a dance-drama presentation on the life of the Visayan martyr, choreographed by Val and Ofelia Sandiego of the Sandiego Dance Troupe.

By 5 p.m., Archbishop Palma led the countdown, followed by fireworks, applause, and the waving of small red flags.

A large LED screen showed photos and names of saints, including the future “San Pedro Calungsod.”

“These are days of grace and favor for the whole Cebuano community; indeed, for the whole country,” said Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal in his homily during the mass celebrated at the Basilica del Sto. Niño.

“Another Filipino is raised to the honor of the altar, a new intercessor is given us, a new model to emulate, a new name to invoke in heaven,” he added.

Cardinal Vidal said Calungsod was unknown to many for more than 300 years, until the late Archbishop Felixberto Flores of Guam informed him of a young man who had assisted Blessed Diego Luis de Sanvitores.

“The postulator for the cause of Blessed Diego did not include Pedro as a companion martyr because his inclusion might only delay the cause,” the cardinal related.

“As providence would have it, Pedro Calungsod was bound to have his own name invoked in the litany of the saints,” he added.

Calungsod was a teenaged catechist who served at the Jesuit mission in the Marianas from June 1668 until his death on April 2, 1672.

He was known to have quickly adapted to the Chamorro way of life and language so that he was an efficient guide to the priests, particularly Sanvitores.

Pedro was the sole companion of Sanvitores in the early morning of April 2, 1672 in the village of Tomhon, when two natives killed them one after the other.

Calungsod was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012, 25 years after Blessed Pope John Paul II canonized Lorenzo Ruiz, a calligrapher from Binondo, Manila who died for his faith in Nagasaki, Japan.

Cardinal Vidal, in his homily, challenged devotees to go beyond mere celebration of the honor bestowed on a katagilungsod (town mate).

“Should we not instead claim affinity with him in his love for the Lord and his courage to face persecution?” said the 81-year-old prelate.

“And while we relish the prospect of being fellow citizens of one who is in heaven, we must also nurture the hope of becoming a fellow citizen with him in heaven,” he added.

At the end of the mass, Archbishop Palma acknowledged Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, and thanked them for their support for the canonization.

Governor Garcia sat beside Mayor Rama during the mass. With them was Paul Hubahib, City Hall’s consultant on utilities and corporate relations.

The Capitol has expressed an offer of assistance to the Cebu Archdiocese.

But first, Lawyer Marino Martinquilla, provincial legal officer, will study the terms of the financial assistance in order not to violate the constitutional provision on the separation of church and state.

After Calungsod’s canonization on October 21, a thanksgiving mass will be held at the South Road Properties in Cebu City. (With Flornisa M. Gitgano/Sun.Star Cebu)

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Red flags, fair weather favor countdown for Calungsod

By Ador Vincent Mayol

Fireworks lit the sky as hundreds of people waved red flaglets and cheered during the launching of the 100-day countdown for the canonization of  Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Fuente Osmeña rotunda, Cebu City at 5 p.m yesterday.

Cebu’s clergy, local officials, university students, catechists and religious organizations gathered at the Fuente Osmena rotunda.

In  Marikina, another countdown was led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said Calungsod’s canonization rites in St. Peter’s Square in Rome will take place at 4 pm.

He was thankful that the weather cleared in the afternoon after a  downpour hours earlier.

“God is so good to us.  This noon, there was a very heavy rain.  I think God is showing us that He is blessing our efforts and our preparation,” said Palma, also the incumbent president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines.

Before the countdown, a group of young people from Parian, Cebu City, gave people gathered in Fuente Osmena rotunda a glimpse of Calungsod’s life and death.

Present during the event were Palma, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, four other bishops, members of the clergy, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

The ceremony in Fuente Osmena was preceeded by a Mass at the centuries-old Basilica del Sto. Nino in downtown Cebu City.

In his homily, Cardinal Vidal reminded the congregation to be spiritually ready for Calungsod’s canonization

“We must not only busy ourselves with the preparations, but the preparations must purify us as well, draw as closer to each other. The one hundred days therefore must be a time of grace for all of us,” the cardinal said.

Vidal challenged the people to follow Calungsod’s fidelity to the Lord amid persecutions and death.

“The account of Pedro’s mission and martyrdom can be written in a paragraph or two. But its significance can fill up many volumes. What Pedro did was an act of solidarity in faith,” he said.

Vidal said Calungsod, a mission helper  in the Marianas isalnds in the 17th century, could have run away from his tormentors but the teenager  faced death to glorify the Lord.

“No matter how idealistic young people may be, if they cannot endure inconvenience and discomfort, they will not be able to practice solidarity,” said Vidal.

As the church counts the days leading up to Calungsod’s canonization, Vidal said one should learn to “let go of attachments, endure inconveniences, practice solidarity with our neighbors, and finally gorw in holiness.”

After the Mass, an image of Calungsod, placed in glass case adorned with flowers was brought from the basilica in a motorcade to Fuente Osmeña.

Calungsod, a Visayan teenager, was among the first to serve on a mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands in the Western Pacific, Marianas, on June 16, 1668.

Trained by the Jesuits,  Calungsod  mastered catechism and learned how to read, write and deliver discourses in Visayan, Spanish and Chamorro.

On April 2, 1672, he and Fr. Diego were killed with a cutlass by two villagers in Tumhon, Guam, for baptizing the natives.

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Website launch marks 100 days to Pedro Calungsod’s canonization

MARIKINA City, July 14, 2012—The Philippine Church today kicked off the official 100-day countdown to the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod through a website launching during the 1st Catholic Social Media Summit.

Religious leaders, led by Manila Archbishop Antonio Tagle, and lay promoters of the life and work of the soon-to-be-saint joined the National Commission on the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod who graced the event, which was highlighted by the launching of the http://sanpedrocalungsod.com/ website.

According to the commission, the website was launched to create public awareness on the martyrdom of Calungsod and encourage the youth to follow his example.

Sky Ortigas, who is part of the lay-initiated group +Big Movement urged summit participants to follow updates on Calungsod’s canonization by linking “Calungsod’s” official FaceBook page facebook.com/FilipinoSaintPedroCalungsod and following him on Twitter twitter.com/@SPCalungsod.

During the summit, Tagle urged the Catholic faithful to follow Calungsod’s example and help others know about his life and works.

“Blessed Pedro Calungsod, who is soon to be named a saint, has done his contribution to spread Christianity beyond the country’s borders. He did what we can now easily do through social media,” he added, as he led the launching of “The Big Move: 100 Days to the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.”

Aside from the website launching and public appearance of the National Commission on the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the 100-day official countdown was also observed in Calungsod’s hometown in Cebu City. (YouthPinoy)

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100-day countdown to start tomorrow

By Niña G. Sumacot/MBG (The Freeman) Updated July 13, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

CEBU, Philippines – The 100-day countdown to the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod on Oct. 21 officially starts tomorrow.

Thousands of people are expected to converge at the Fuente Osmeña Circle for the launching of the countdown.

The event will start with a mass at the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño at 2:30 p.m. to be officiated by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

A motorcade will then follow towards the Fuente Osmeña Circle.

The motorcade will be composed of 17 vehicles representing Calungsod’s age of martyrdom.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said politicians have indicated to attend the launching.

Vidal said they invited Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia who has been coordinating with the Archdiocese for assistance in the preparation for the canonization and for the National Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 30

Palma said the Archdiocese of Cebu came up with the 100-day countdown “to sustain the excitement of the people” and for them to know more about the Visayan martyr.

The Archdiocese’s Commission on Social Communications is taking care of the event.

“And to really end up with a great and memorable celebration. We want to come up with a very relevant and very challenging event for the young, missionaries, OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), and the lay faithful,” said Palma in a press conference yesterday.

A band will perform to open the activities at the Fuente Osmeña Circle and this will be followed by a video presentation on testimonies of the youth.

At 4 pm, the Commission on Youth will perform an animation and acknowledgments will follow.

Thirty minutes later, the Image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod is expected to arrive.

The Commission on Youth will be singing the Gozos upon the arrival of the image.

Palma will say a message to be followed by a presentation of Calungsod’s martyrdom.

Palma will be back to say a prayer and will open the official countdown.

The activity will end with the community singing of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod song.

Palma said devotees and religious commissions in Manila will also hold their own countdown.

Palma revealed that about 900 pilgrims have indicated to join the canonization in Rome.

At present, they are busy looking for a model for the face and body of Calungsod’s prototype.

Vidal said the image of Calungsod maybe ready by August, which will be brought to Rome for the canonization.

“We want a face of a young man, without shoes, wearing white pants. Mo-show g’yud niya as a catechist. The sculpture should capture the personality or virtues of Pedro Calungsod,” Palma said.

Palma who also heads the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) further said they want the image to be distinct with that of the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz.

Palma also announced that the ground breaking of the “templete” or the venue of the thanksgiving mass at the South Road Properties will be on August 7.

Palma and Vidal will attend the brief ceremony. (FREEMAN)

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100-day countdown to start which sculpture for Pedro?

A 100-day countdown starts tomorrow for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod as Cebu church leaders weigh which image to bring to Rome for the Oct. 21 rites that will declare him a saint.

Which statue best represents the teenage Visayan martyr who died in the 16th century without leaving any record of how he looked?

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will select the “model statue.”

“One of the features that we look into is a face of a young man and a Filipino. The statue must be on the move like a cathecist, with white pants, and without shoes,” Vidal said during a press conference yesterday.

They want to make sure that the faithful can distinguish between Calungsod and San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.

“In many churches, they put images of both. We don’t want people to get confused,” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

The 100-day countdown starts on Saturday with a Mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City at 2:30 p.m.

A motorcade will follow from the basilica to the Fuente Osmeña rotunda where the countdown ceremony will be held.

LED television screens perched on poles at the rotunda will flash images of the countdown.

Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was canonized in 1987. His statue commonly portrays him, wearing a white barong Tagalog and black pants. Most of his images show Lorenzo clasp his hands while holding a rosary.

To provide a contrast, the Archdiocese of Cebu wants Calungsod to have white pants and hold palm leaves and the Doctrina Christiana or Book of Catechism.

“The idea of the countdown is to drum up the preparation, sustain the excitement of the people and really end up with a great memorable celebration during the canonization and the thanksgiving Mass.

“At the heart of all these preparations is really our desire that people will know more about Pedro Calungsod,” Palma said.

Expected to attend the 100-day countdown are Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

A simultaneous countdown will be made in Manila led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle.

“Even in Manila and other parts of the country, more and more people are asking about Pedro Calungsod,” said Palma.

After the Oct. 21 canonization rites in Rome, a national thanksgiving Mass will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City on Nov. 30.

President Benigno Aquino III earlier said he would attend. Cardinal Vidal has also invited Vice President Jejomar Binay to come to Cebu for this.

On Aug. 7 is the groundbreaking ceremony for the templete or small temple where the main altar will be placed in the SRP.

“Blessed Pedro reminds lay people that we can also become saints, we could also be involved in evangelization,” Palma said.

Calungsod’s painting which has been used in churches and during his 2000 beatification will remain as it was already approved by the Vatican, said Palma.

But they have to choose one Calungsod sculpture as a model image “that really captures the personality and virtues of Pedro Calungsod.”

He said another image of Calungsod in Manila will be brought to Cebu for Cardinal Vidal to evaluate.

Calungsod was among the first to serve on a Jesuit mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands in the Western Pacific, Marianas, on June 16, 1668.

On April 2, 1672, he and Fr. Diego were killed by two villagers in Tumhon, Guam, after baptizing some natives. /Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Reporter with a report from Correspondent Jessa Marie Agua

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Church invites Aquino, Binay to thanksgiving mass for Calungsod

By Bernadette A. Parco

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CEBU CITY – President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay have been invited to the National Thanksgiving Mass for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in November.

Calungsod will be canonized as the country’s second saint in October this year or about 50 years after Manila native Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized by now Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said he personally delivered the invitation for Binay at the latter’s office last Wednesday.

The prelate said a concern was raised that the mass was a purely religious celebration that government officials should veer away from in keeping with the principle of separation of Church and State.

“The celebration is not only religious, but (it is) also a national celebration,” said Vidal.

Ceremony

Calungsod will be canonized on October 21 by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome with six other blessed persons in a ceremony that would be attended by at least 900 delegates from the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Pedro Calungsod was a teenage catechist who accompanied Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in Tumhon village in Guam, Marianas. Both were killed on April 2, 1672.

Calungsod was beatified in March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma announced Thursday a 100-day countdown to the canonization during a press conference.

“(The countdown was organized) to drum up the preparations that lead to the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod to sustain the excitement of the people and end up with a great and memorable celebration,” he said.

The activity starts with a mass led by Cardinal Vidal at the Basilica del Sto. Niño at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, to be followed by a 17-vehicle motorcade to Fuente Osmeña where Archbishop Palma will deliver a message and launch the countdown.

Palma said there are at least 20,000 people expected to participate in the event who will be coming from various parishes in Metro Cebu.

He also said a simultaneous activity is set in Manila, which would be led by Manila Archbishop Antonio Tagle.

“At the heart of the preparations is for the people to know more about Pedro Calungsod, he has a beautiful and relevant message of how he lived and died for his faith,” Palma said.

Image

Church officials are still searching for the “perfect” statue that would be brought to Rome in October.

“The painting (of Calungsod) was already approved by the Vatican. The sculpture should be such that it would capture the personality of Beato Pedro,” said Palma, who added that Cardinal Vidal was given the task to choose the church’s official statue.

A statue from Manila would be shipped to Cebu for the Cardinal to compare with other sculptures. The statue would be brought to Rome for the canonization in October and for the Duaw Nasud wherein the image would be visiting several dioceses in the country. (BAP of Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2012.

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Calungsod’s promotion intensifies using social media

MANILA, July 11, 2012—The National Commission for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod has intensified its promotion of the 2nd Filipino saint by doing projects utilizing both the traditional and the social media.

Members of the general promotions and public information cluster represented by Youth Pinoy president Eilleen Esteban from the new media committee, Clarke Nebrao and Sky Ortigas from the special media committee emphasized that promotions in social media have started campaigns such as the ‘I Like Pedro Week’ and the launching of Pedro Calungsod website.

“Last week, we started the social media activity which is the ‘I like Pedro week’ campaign. This campaign targets 100,000 likes in Calungsod’s facebook page,” Nebrao said.

Aside from the facebook page, Nebrao said a twitter account was also made, which at present is already trending.

He said the promotional campaign using the social media aims to get to the young people so that they will be reached by Calungsod.

Nebrao added that the cluster is planning to put up forums about Calungsod’s life by having a Pedro caravan to schools and parishes in order for him to be discussed in the grassroots.

As of now, regular visitors to the facebook pages already reached the 500,000 range and the data of Pedro Calungsod is very popular to ages 25-35.

The social media and special media teams further said that most of the visitors are from the Visayas and Mindanao. They are still intensifying the promotion to Filipinos in Metro Manila.

“We need to teach the people on how to use the social media for evangelization and for good,” they said.

Meanwhile, former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza congratulated the organizers of the Catholic Social Media Summit stating that young people should be guided and directed in using the most effective medium today which is social media.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle will launch the 100 days countdown to canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

The website and a 100 days countdown leading to the canonization date of Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be launched at the 1st Catholic Social Media Summit in Marikina on July 14 and 15. (Jandel Posion)

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Calungsod’s life and works should inspire clergy—priest

QUEZON City, July 11, 2012—The life and works of Blessed Pedro Calungsod should be an inspiration not only to the youth but also to the clergy in serving God and the Church, a Catholic priest said.

Fr. Chito Manio Vicente of Cubao diocese said Calungsod ―a young catechist who worked with the Jesuits at the young age of 14 and became a martyr at the age of 17― had really served God and the Church because he was focused in doing it.

“Pedro knew that at the very age of 14 until when he was 17, it was clear to him that he was a Christian and a son of God. And he can say that he was a sinner but God loved him so much. The clergy must find that this dedication of Calungsod to God is a clear indication that the 2nd Filipino saint can be an inspiration, not just for the Catholic youth, but also to the clergy,” Vicente said.

“Priests should be put to shame. Why, if a 17 year old boy can be heroic, why not also we priests? Those priests who are making priesthood as a livelihood must understand that Pedro Calungsod can be our model in doing our ministry well,” he added.

Vicente commented that there are many problems in the Church today because of priests who should not have become one.

“Pedro was a very ordinary boy but he stood strong and steady. While they were attacked by Chamorros, he protected San Vitores. This boy could have run away but I can see the values that were implanted in his soul by protecting the priest. He really stood at the moment of crisis which is one of the values that the clergy must imitate,” he added.

Vicente expressed that he acquired some of the values of Calungsod such as perseverance and courage.

“Priesthood is very difficult, you are meant to be a holocaust. Sometimes, I tend to give up because there are people who really do not appreciate or like me and my programs for the Church. But like Pedro, it is clear to me who I am and all of my projects are not mine but the will of the Lord. I was just a mere instrument to do the work and to realize these projects,” he said further.

Vicente was a deacon and was assigned to proclaim the Gospel during the beatification rites of Pedro Calungsod in 2000 in Rome.

He finished his theology at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome. Currently, he is serving as a guest priest at St. Joseph Shrine in the diocese of Cubao. (Jandel Posion)

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Santo Pedro’s mass will be at SRP

By Bernadette A. Parco

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CEBU CITY — It’s final. The national thanksgiving mass for the canonization of Beato Pedro Calungsod will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP), high-ranking Church officials announced Tuesday.

The local church raised more than P19 million for the canonization on October 21 in Rome and the national thanksgiving celebration on November 30.

Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, preparations committee chairperson, made the announcement with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma during a press conference at the Archbishop’s Residence.

“Our meeting zeroed in on the venue for the national thanksgiving mass. It would be in SRP, that’s the final decision,” said Cardinal Vidal.

“SM management will take care of the site development,” he added.

Good neighbor

Cardinal Vidal said the expenses for site development were a major concern as this was projected to reach millions of pesos. This was the reason the Mandaue Reclamation Area was initially announced as the venue.

Marissa Fernan, SM Prime vice president, said the firm is willing to spend “as much as it would take for the preparations (to be finished).”

“The site is beside us (in SRP). (SM Prime President) Hans Sy said, ‘Why don’t we be a good neighbor?’ He visited the site and there are resources at the site,” Fernan told reporters.

The work entails site clearing, compacting, construction of vertical and horizontal roads using pavers, and lighting.

She also said the firm is building a church, the Shrine of Mary Mother of God, on the adjacent SM-owned property.

“The construction of the church is ongoing and will be finished by October. The church can be used as a holding area for the VIPs, the bishops,” she said.

Preparations

In a separate interview, Cardinal Vidal said he met with Hans Sy and his mother Felicidad Tan Sy, who is said to be the reason masses are held in SM malls.

The 81-year-old prelate said the meeting took place in Manila last month, before he went to his hometown in Marinduque for his annual vacation.

The committee on preparations is still raising funds for other expenses that add up to millions, said finance officer Msgr. Roberto Alesna. He said the committee has raised at least P19,892,000 as of May 31. This month, about P3 million was received by the committee.

The committee on venue, headed by Fr. Raul Gallego, submitted a report that stated they need about P12 million for the construction of the template that would be used for the mass.

The worship and liturgy committee, headed by Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, also submitted a report with an estimated cost of more than P4 million for albs and vestments, among others.

Fund-raising activities include the sale of the limited edition Beato Pedro Calungsod sculpture made by renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, at P25,000 each. Buyers also get a chance to win expensive vehicles like a BMW and a Kia Sorrento.

P10M target

Alesna said all 364 priests and 147 parishes are expected to raise P10 million, and envelopes will be distributed to Catholic schools so that administrators, teachers, and parents have a chance to make contributions.

In Rome, the preparations are ongoing, although there are no figures on the expenses. Cardinal Vidal said the expenses during the beatification of Beato Pedro 12 years ago reached about P16 million.

Archbishop Palma said archdioceses and dioceses of the country would be contributing to help cover the expenses of the celebration.

He also emphasized that raising funds is not the focus of the frenzy in the preparations although “to us money is the solution to the problem.”

“This is a once in a lifetime event, an occasion for us to savor. We will do everything to make it solemn, memorable,” said Archbishop Palma. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 06, 2012.

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SRP FOR PEDRO 6/6/2012

Archdiocese accepts SM tycoon’s offer to develop venue for free; Calungsod templete to rise in south reclamation site

The sea in Cebu City’s east coast will provide a backdrop for the country’s Nov. 30 national celebration of the canonization of Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

The city government-owned South Road Properties (SRP) was chosen the venue of the national thanksgiving mass after SM tycoon Hans Sy offered to develop the site for free.

A templete or “small temple” will be built on 1,200 square meters of reclaimed land where church officials expect up to 800,000 people to gather for the liturgical celebration.

“We all decided that it will be at the SRP. It’s already final,” said Ricardo Cardinal Vidal with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma in a press conference at the Archbishop’s Residence.

They announced the decision yesterday after a closed-door meeting where they accepted the offer of SM Prime Holdings represented by vice president Marissa Fernan and two members of a technical engineering team.

“Hans Sy decided to be a good neighbor,” Fernan said, and is willing to spend “as much as it would take to prepare the site appropriately for the occasion.”

SM is building its biggest mall, Seaside City, an P8.5 billion development that includes an international convention center, a church, and residential buildings, beside the designated site in the SRP.

SRP was chosen over two other locations – the Mandaue reclamation area and Fuente Osmeña park.

Eight criteria were used to select the venue – solemnity, visibility, accessibility, traffic management, security, capacity, cost and no disruption of basic services. The committee on venue was headed by Fr. Raul Gallego.

SRP was first offered by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, but the site was set aside in earlier deliberations by the Archdicoese after the cost of backfilling and preparing the open space was estimated at P100 million.

Both SM and the Calungsod planning committee headed by Vidal yesterday declined to reveal the cost of develoing the site now that the country’s biggest retail giant is stepping in to help.

A 100-day countdown to the Oct. 21 canonization of Pedro Calungsod will be launched at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on July 14.

Calungsod, a Visayan teenage missionary helper, was killed by natives in Guam in 1672. He will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square along with other beatified persons, mostly founders of religious organizations and clergy members from France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Amercia.

The national eucharistic celebration in Cebu City will happen a month and nine days days after the Oct. 21 ceremony in Rome.

Nearly 1 million people are expected to attend.

The venue is also expected to accommodate 3,000 VIPs composed of 50 church dignitaries, 100 government and civil society leaders, 300 archbishops and bishops, 700 clergy members, 2,000 choir members and 200 orchestra members.

It will also house the vesting area for the bishops and clergy, a press center, a police and security center, souvenir stores, first aid stations, water stations, food stalls and portable toilets.

“SRP has always been one of the venues but three weeks ago, before the opening of SM Consolacion, Mr. Hans Sy happened to visit the site and he felt that we could do something considering that we also have equipment and the resources there,” said Fernan.

“So it was just a matter of asking our contractors to cross the street and help us.”

Fernan said work will include “site clearing, compacting, making provisions for vertical and horizontal roads using pavers, and providing lighting for the venue.”

Site development will start next week and finish in about three months.

From there, the templete will be constructed.

“We were able to rally our contractors for SRP to assist us. It was just a question of moving their equipment across the road. I think it will work out very well,” Fernan said.

Fernan said SM is also willing to accommodate VIPs and the clergy inside the Church of Mary, Mother of God, which SM is constructing at the SRP.

The Cebu Archdiocese earlier set a P60 million budget for preparations in Rome and Cebu related to the Calungsod canonization.

“At this point in time, thanks to the many generous people, money is not a big problem,” Archbishop Palma said.

Msgr. Roberto Alesna, chairman of the finance committee, said they have gathered P19.89 million million as of May 31. Last week they received another P3 million from a donor, he said.

Part of the budget will be used to print booklets to teach people about the life of Calungsod. Cebu’s 147 parishes are also being asked to raise donations for the activity.

A Kenneth Cobunpue artwork was launched last month as a limited edition commemorative sculptural piece for donors who give P25,000. The donation comes with a chance to win a raffle prize of two BMW cars and an SUV.

More than the external preparations, Palma said the faithful should be spiritually ready for the canonization of Calungsod who shall become the second Filipino saint.

“I hope this will become an occasion for us to believe that we are precious in the eyes of the Lord; that we can all become saints. My prayer is that in the course of the preparations, we all become more Christian, more holy, more devoted as Catholics, and more aware of our mission. And I think, that’s at the heart of all this preparation,” Palma said.

He said the archdiocese is not wasting money by staging a grand celebration.

“We take this as a once-in-a-lifetime event. We don’t know when another saint will be canonized. We would like this to be an occasion for us to really savor the blessing of a saint. It’s just like saying, money becomes secondary,” Palma said.

“Even if we spend a few million pesos, if this will truly be a very memorable event such that all the rest of our lives, it will become an inspiration for us, we will do everything to do it,”  /Ador Vincent Mayol and Jessa Chrisna Marie Agua

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Money no longer a problem: SM to do site for Pedro rites

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon

(The Freeman) Updated June 06, 2012 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines – It has been finally decided that the national thanksgiving Mass to celebrate the canonization of Cebuano martyr Pedro Calungsod will take place at the South Road Properties (SRP).

The site development for the construction of the “templete” will start next week.

Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, in a press conference yesterday said that SRP will be the venue for the thanksgiving and the site development will be undertaken by SM.

Vidal added that the templete is a temporary structure.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that the site can accommodate at least one million people. The site development is expected to be finished in three months.

Based on fact sheets released to the media, there will be 50 church dignitaries who will attend the festivities.

There would also be 100 government and civil society leaders, 300 archbishops and bishops, 700 clergies, 2,000 choir members and 200 orchestra members.

Aside from the approximately 1,500-square-meter-templete, the venue will have a vesting area, operation center, press center, police and security center, power lines, media stand, Blessed Sacrament chapels, souvenir stores, first aid stations, water stations, food stalls, and portable toilets.

Off-site, a parking area will be provided for vehicles of church dignitaries, vehicles for elderly and persons with disability, buses for out of town and Cebu pilgrims and emergency vehicles.

Money is not a problem

Palma was also happy to announce that money is no longer a problem.

Palma however did not specify how much is the budget for this event as well as the amount of donations they have already received.

“We are almost there. Money becomes secondary. We have to savor the event. This is a once in a lifetime event,” Palma said.

Msgr. Roberto Alesna, chairman of the finance committee, said that they are so happy that many generous people are donating.

The donors are not just the Cebuanos, but the entire Filipino people including those who are living abroad.

Alesna said that in order to raise more funds, they are tapping 147 parishes, 376 diocesan priests to come up at least P10 million donations.

Catholic schools in Cebu will be given envelopes in order for the parents, teachers, non-teaching personnel and students to donate.

Alesna also said that as part of their fund-raising activity, the commemorative Calungsod statue designed by Kenneth Cobonpue was unveiled last May 23 wherein 100 people bought the statues at P25,000 each. Each buyer has a chance to win one BMW 3 series, a BMW 1 series and an SUV.

Duaw Nasud

Father Marvin Mejia, assistant secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines announced that a nationwide “Duaw Nasud” will be launched upon the arrival (either October 23 to 24) of Calungsod’s statue from Rome.

The statue will do a stop-over in Manila, Vigan, Bicol, Samar, Northern Mindanao, Negros, Iloilo, and Bohol.

Calungsod’s statue will arrive in Cebu three days before the thanksgiving Mass on November 30.

Activities

Calungsod will be canonized in Rome, Italy on October 21 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Palma also announced that a 100 days countdown before the canonization will also be launched this July 14 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Palma added that within the 100 days, there will be concerts, movies, and drama presentations, among others.

Msgr. Trinidad Silva, chairman social communications said that to date, they do not have any idea as to how many church delegates will be going to Rome for the canonization but hinted it will be more than enough to fill the Vatican.

Calungsod (c. 1654 – April 2, 1672) was beatified on March 5, 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.

The Holy See officially approved the miracle qualifying Calungsod for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church last December. — with Ryan Christopher J. Sorote/NLQ (FREEMAN)

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Templete will be Cebu ‘landmark’ 6/6/2012 [CDN]

IT will take about a month to finish the templete or small temple, said Fr. Raul Gallego, chairman on the committee on venue.

This will house the altar and liturgical activities, and must be large enough to “acommodate the presiding officer and the concelebranting bishops.”

Part of the structure may remain as “landmark” after the national thanksgiving Mass.

It features a triangular cover at the center, and a palm design reaching upward with a cross on top.

The palm is a traditional symbol of matrydom in the Catholic church while the cross stands for “transendence, man reaching out to God.”

The templete was designed by Fr. Brian Brigoli with the assistance of architects, engineers, and designers.

Before returning to Cebu, the image of Pedro Calungsod will go on a national pilgrimage or “Duaw Lungsod” immediately after the Oct. 21 canonization rites in Rome.

“This will be chance for Pedro to be introduced as a Filipino saint. Hopefully, this will be a grand way to promote his devotion, not just for the region but for the whole of the Philipines. I hope he will be own by everyone as a Filipino saint,” said Fr. Marvin Mejia, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

After arriving in Manila, Calungosd’s image will be travel to Vigan, Bicol, Samar, northen Mindanao, Negros, Iloilo, and Bohol.

The destinations represent the countyr’s four ecclesiastical provinces existing in 1772 – Nueva Segovia, Vigan, Manila, Nueva Caceres (Naga), and Cebu, said Mejia.

The image will arrive in Cebu three days before the national thanksgiving Mass on Nov. 30.

The Luzon leg is led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle. The Visayas-Mindanao leg is led by the Cebu Commision.

Calungsod was a teenage catechist and assistant on a mission organized by Jesuit priest Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands, now known as Guam.

He was speared with a cutlass by hostile natives in April 2, 1672 when he and Fr. Diego were baptizing villagers. Their bodies were then tied together and thrown into the sea.

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Pedro’s thanksgiving Mass in Mandaue, not SRP 4/19/2012

TWO weeks after undergoing gallbladder surgery, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma met yesterday with organizers of the celebration of Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s Oct. 21 canonization..

Palma and his predecessor Ricardo Cardinal Vidal met with the planning committee to work out details of the celebration that includes a thanksgiving Mass on Nov. 30 in Mandaue City.

Yesterday’s meeting was Palma’s first public appearance since his surgery.

“Thank God, I am okay now,” he said.

Palma underwent gallbladder removal surgery last April 3 after he complained of acute stomach pains.

“I have more piles of work because I went on vacation. But it’s okay. I’m thankful to Cardinal Vidal who took many of the schedules,” Palma said.

He cancelled trips to Iloilo, Mindanao, Samar and Manila upon the advice of doctors.

Palma was supposed to attend a dialogue he called the other day with groups opposing the Cordova reclamation project. Instead he was represented by Cordova parish priest Fr. Alvin Lao.

The thanksgiving Mass has been moved to Mandaue City from its original proposed venue in the South Road Properties (SRP).

Palma said engineers told them it would be very costly to fill the site with soil to prevent it from being muddy in case of rain.

The new venue may be near the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in Mandaue City.

Event engineers presented a miniature model and designs of the proposed stage and location set up.

The Nov. 30 Mass will be held when the Cebu delegation to the Calungsod canonization in Rome return home.

Souvenir items such as Blessed Pedro Calungsod bookmarks, key chains, collar pins, stickers and 150,000 catechism booklets about the first Visayan Cebuano saint are also being planned. /UP masscom Intern Peter L. Romanillos and Correspondent Jessa Marie J. Agua

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Crowds pack future saint’s feast

By Bernadette A. Parco

Sunday, April 1, 2012

THE feast day of the boy who will soon be the country’s second saint attracted more devotees and pilgrims to the 12-year-old Blessed Pedro Calungsod shrine in Cebu City.

“It is more noticeable, there are more people this time who visit the shrine,” said Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, shrine administrator and postulator for the cause of Pedro Calungsod.

“There are new faces coming from outside Cebu. (This means) many people have heard about him,” he added.

Leyson also said the mood at the shrine, located within the Archbishop’s Residence compound, is more festive with the anticipated canonization of Pedro Calungsod on Oct. 21 in Rome.

More on his life

Calungsod, a teenaged lay catechist and martyr, was killed by Chamorros in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit priest, now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Calungsod was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000.

The Archdiocese of Cebu is in the thick of preparations for the canonization rites and national thanksgiving in November.

But Archbishop Jose Palma said the plans are aimed at spreading the word on the life, virtues and sacrifice of Calungsod.

“At the heart of this (preparation) is the catechesis on his life,” he said.

“We are thanking God that Calungsod became a model to inspire people to a life of faith and mission. His canonization falls on Mission Sunday, which is a call for us to do something,” he added.

In his homily, Palma expressed pride over the canonization of a “santo na bisaya, atong kababayan na bisaya (a Visayan saint, a Visayan townmate).”

“But we must remember that the grace of martyrdom is a form of miracle. The miracle that occurred is due to the intercession to God,” the prelate said.

He said the late Blessed Pope John Paul II’s approval of the canonization of many saints was meant to show people that the saints are almost neighbors, contemporaries.

“The saints serve as examples of faith. Through them, the door of faith is open; those who want to enter live a life of faith,” said Palma.

There are other activities after the canonization rites, to sustain the devotion to Pedro Calungsod through the plan to bring his pilgrim image to major dioceses in the country.

“The image of Pedro Calungsod will be visiting main archdioceses from Vigan to Davao, which is intended to familiarize the people with the new saint,” said Leyson.

For the young people, a “Plus BIG (being in God)” program is being pursued to encourage them to follow Calungsod’s example of living a Christian life.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 01, 2012.

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Follow Calungsod’s values, faithful urged

A CLOSE relationship with Blessed Pedro Calungsod is what Dina Pastor, aspires for her son.

The 36-year-old Pastor held her son’s hand as they joined the faithful in celebration of the last feast of Blessed Pedro Calungsod before his canonization this October.

“Calungsod exemplifies the attitude I want my son to have,” Pastor said as she fondly looked over five-year old Nino Jonas in the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod yesterday morning.

Pastor, a call center agent, said she raised Jonas as a single mother, and she would often pray to Señor Sto Nino, whom Jonas adapted his name from and the Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

She said Calungsod showed the Christian virtues of courage and dedication which she wanted her son to adopt as he grows up.

A publication of catechesis, specially focused for the youth will be one of the highlights on the upcoming celebration as the world’s first Visayan saint will be canonized, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said.

“This is meant to attract young people to remind them to be with God,” Palma told reporters in an interview after the mass for the feast of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in the Archbishop’s residence yesterday.

A mass was celebrated by Palma in the Calungsod shrine in Archbishop’s Residence yesterday morning, followed by a procession in the afternoon.

Palma said Calungsod is a good influence on the Catholic faith.

Palma said that after the canonization, the holy image of Calungsod will tour the whole country.

In his homily, Palma also acknowledged the contributions of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Msgr Ilde Leyson.

Leyson, a chief postulator for the Cause of Calungsod, is a principal source for those who want to write a book or make a movie on Calungsod’s life, Palma said.

In an interview, Leyson told reporters that he noticed more people are visiting the Calungsod shrine after his canonization date was announced. “I hope this will help us prepare spiritually,” he said.

A thanksgiving mass in the South Road Properties will be held by the archdiocese on Nov. 30.

Palma said a congress of the laity catechists will be held after the canonization to inculcate in their hearts and minds that priests and nuns are not only called to service in the kingdom of God. /Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporter with Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc [CDN, April 1, 2012]

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Blessed Pedro Calungsod Nat’l Thanksgiving on Nov. 30 at SRP

By John Peterson M. Villarin, SWU /MIT (The Freeman)

Updated March 15, 2012 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines – The National Thanksgiving mass for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP) on November 30.

The Executive Council for the preparations for Calungsod’s canonization, led by His Emminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal approved the said date and venue in a meeting of all committee chairmen and members held at the Archbishop’s Residence yesterday.

Proposals were presented by the various committees to both Vidal and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who presided over the Plenary Meeting.

Aside from the presentation and approval of the proposed date and venue, also presented was the proposed list of participating tour operators who complied with the requirements. Those who qualify shall be issued certificates of participation.

Vidal wanted to make sure that “travel agencies will arrange the nearest possible location to Vatican for the pilgrims” citing previous instances when pilgrims are accommodated in areas that are quite far from the actual venue of the celebrations.

The council stressed that aside from submitting documents, catechesis is among the requirements that participating travel agencies should comply with.

The council also approved the suggestion of Msgr. Marnell Mejia to require the participation of all parishes in the Archdiocese of Cebu in the National Thanksgiving activities which include a fluvial and foot procession prior to the mass.

CBCP Assistant Secretary General Fr. Marvin Mejia also presented their proposed “Duaw Nasud” which will feature target cities all over the country prior to the National Thanksgiving. Palma lauded Mejia’s proposal and even moved for its approval.

“I’m very happy about the Duaw Nasud. It’s the best way to spread the information about Blessed Pedro Calungsod.”

Aside from the Duaw Nasud, Mejia also presented another movement targeting the youth which will be mobilized even before the canonization.

CCTN Channel 47 through its President, Nonito Limchua, also informed the council that they shall be covering the canonization live from Rome and the National Thanksgiving activities in Cebu.

DYRC Radyo Cebu also proposed to change the name of the station to Radyo Calungsod as well as to produce a CD album featuring original compositions of Cebuano songwriters and to be sung by famous Cebuano talents like Pilita Corrales, Manilyn Reynes, Jaya, Elizabeth Ramsey, Raki Vega and more.

They also proposed to help raise funds for the canonization through a fund-raising concert in Manila and another one in Cebu on June. — (FREEMAN)

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Church already raises P4M

3/15/2012

The Archdiocese of Cebu has already raised more than P4 million donated by private individuals for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

Another P10 million pesos will be collected from the 147 parishes and chapels all over Cebu.

This was the report of Msgr. Roberto Alesna during the meeting of the different committees tasked to prepare for Calungsod’s canonization on October 21.

Msgr. Alesna, Committee on Finance head, is also scheduled to meet with the business sector that pledged their support for the celebration.

Another fund-raising activity proposed during the meeting is a concert led by the Cebu Symphony Orchestra.

The meeting was presided by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and the council chairman for the Preparations for the Canonization of Blessed Calungsod Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

“Somehow we’re trying our best to organize ourselves now that we already know the exact date for the canonization. We’re now updating all the committees who will help us in the preparations for this celebration,” Vidal said.

Also discussed was the concern raised by some priests on whether the public should be appraised of the budget and fund-raising activities.

This developed after they received comments that the proposed P50-million budget is too much for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

However, Palma believes that the public will understand why they need such a huge amount.

“It’s not every year that we celebrate this. After a very long time, Pedro Calungsod has followed San Lorenzo Ruiz. The spirit of rejoicing should be there and of thanksgiving. And we have to celebrate this meaningfully and fruitfully. I know many people will understand that,” Palma said.

“I am not doubting the generosity of our people,” Cardinal Vidal added.

The official logo for Calungsod’s canonization was also presented during the meeting with the theme “Kinabuhing Gi-ula, Pagtuong Gimantala.”

Cardinal Vidal said they plan to have this printed on leaflets to be distributed to the public.

The Cebu Archdiocese will hold a “giant celebration” to welcome the arrival of the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

After his canonization, his image would be transported to the Philippines and will tour the country for a month.

Cebu will be the last stop of the holy image and will be welcomed by a thanksgiving celebration.

A mass is scheduled on Nov. 30 at the South Road Properties (SRP).

A fluvial procession will also be held at the Mactan Channel.

Novena prayers have already started in the parishes of Cebu. Catholic schools and religious groups also hold catechesis to explain the life of Calungsod.

Calungsod is a Visayan youth who served in a mission to the Ladrones Islands, now known as Guam, in 1668. He and a Jesuit priest were killed by hostile natives in 1672. /Andrea Pateña and Candeze Mongoya

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Priest: Pedro Calungsod, not San Pedro de Cebu

By Jhay-ar A. Book and Tashuana Alemania

Friday, March 9, 2012

CEBU CITY — An official of the Commission on Blessed Pedro Calungsod clarified that the Vatican in Rome has the final say on the title of the person to be canonized.

Monsignor Ildebrando A. Leyson, postulator and co-chairman of the Commission on Blessed Pedro Calungsod, said in the case of Calungsod, the title stated in the Vatican is “Pedro Calungsod, lay catechist, martyr.”

The name San Pedro de Cebu was an idea coming from Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Leyson said.

He could not also say whether Calungsod is a Cebuano, as earlier claimed by Vidal.

He said documents describe Calungsod Pedro as “indio Bisaya,” or a pure native of the Visayas region of the Philippine archipelago but could not pinpoint where exactly in the Visayas.

Leyson said tracing the place of origin of the Calungsod family is difficult because baptismal records from the 1600s no longer exist.

“We’ll never know unless we have Calungsod’s baptismal certificate but unfortunately, we have no more records from the 1600s,” he said.

Calungsod was the teenage catechist who was martyred together with Jesuit Father Diego de San Vitores in Guam on April 2, 1672. The Jesuit priest was beatified in 1985.

Calungsod, who was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2000, will be canonized with six other religious men and women on October 21, 2012.

The others are Jacques Berthieu, a French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth; 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, USA; Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman; and Anna Schaffer, German laywoman.

It was in December last year that Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of Calungsod, the last step before his name was included in the list of saints or the process of canonization.

Leyson said they are still finalizing everything for the canonization, including the budget. But they planned to have a series of masses and catechism at Rome before and after the occasion.

“Since not everyone could go to Rome, we hope for a live telecast so that people could watch,” he said. (Sunnex)

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PARISH RUSHES TO PREPARE CALUNGSOD CHURCH

PARISHIONERS of the Beato Pedro Calungsod church in Barangay Cantabaco, Toledo City celebrated the last beatification anniversary of their patron saint yesterday.

The church, located on a hill, was filled to capacity with local devotees and residents from nearby villages.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who led the concelebrated mass, said the weather 12 years ago in Rome was fair just like the weather yesterday.

“Our celebration today is joyful,” he said, referring to the coming canonization of Calungsod on Oct. 21.

Palma reminded the people in his homily to follow the example of the Visayan martyr, who was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in Rome on March 5, 2000.

Faith

He said Pope Benedict XVI has declared the year 2012 as a Year of Faith. The Catholic Church also marks the 50th year since the Second Vatican Council was convened and the 20th year since the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“This year, we hope that we give importance to faith,” he said.

“We hope we can become witnesses of faith by leading a Christian life,” he added.

Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, postulator for Calungsod’s cause of sainthood, said the
Catholic Church will continue to commemorate the teenage catechist’s beatification as the day the diocese took notice of his faith and sacrifice.

In an interview, Parish Pastoral Council president Mario Joel Baylosis said the parishioners are busy trying to raise funds to finish the church construction by October.

He told Sun.Star Cebu they are organizing a raffle draw this year as one of their fund-raising activities.

Baylosis said they are preparing the church and some amenities, as they expect pilgrims to visit the parish after Calungsod’s canonization.

Privacy

Archbishop Palma said journalists are not allowed to interview the patient who was healed through the intercession of Blessed Pedro Calungsod and her doctor.

He explained after the mass that he would like to follow the suggestion of Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal to respect the privacy of the patient.

“The Cardinal was strict on that, and I understand that,” said Palma, who added that the official logo marking the canonization of Calungsod was launched recently.

The theme chosen for the celebration is “Kinabuhing Gi-ula, Pagtuong Gimantala” (Life that is Offered, Faith that is Proclaimed).

The design includes the image of Blessed Pedro, 10 green leaves of the palm of martyrdom, the islands of Guam and Cebu inserted in the palm as the places of origin and martyrdom, and the years 1672 and 2012 for the years of martyrdom and canonization.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 06, 2012.

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THE CHURCH THAT ROSE FROM FAITH

By Jessica Ann R. Pareja/BRP (The Freeman) March 6, 2012

CEBU, Philippines – Blessings keep pouring in for the couple whose faith and generosity made possible the rising of the first church dedicated to Visayan Martyr and soon to be canonized Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

The Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish in Barangay Cantabaco, Toledo City, celebrated its sixth founding anniversary yesterday since the parish was established in Mar, 5, 2006. Yesterday was also the twelfth anniversary of his beatification.

The church, still half-complete, started only as a nipa hut in 2005 until it gradually improved into a concrete structure through the efforts of couple Servillano and Josephine Mapeso and several other benefactors that include mostly the residents of the barangay.

The lot where the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish now stands was donated by the Mapeso family to the Archdiocese of Cebu through a deed of donation signed by former Cebu archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and the Mapeso couple in November 17, 2003.

Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Russel Sungcad said the church still has a long way to go especially on the roofing, ceiling, electrical wiring, the parking area, the rectory, the belfry and the landscaping.

“After the canonization of our Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Rome, all celebration will be focused here. We hope that by November or December, our Archbishop can do the consecration of our beloved Parish,” Sungcad said.

“The existence of this church is another miracle from Blessed Calungsod because it has come into this state even with only meager resources and budget,” Sungcad said.

The Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish has now organized 16 communities and supervised 32 chapels. It covers five surrounding barangays. Sungcad recalled how the people have helped one another to gradually improve the structure. The structure is designed by Architect Servillano Mapeso, the donor of the lot.

The Mapeso family donated one hectare of their 13-hectare property in Cantabaco, Toledo City to the Archdiocese of Cebu when Msgr. Gerardo Jumao-as and Fr. Michael Hisoler came to them looking for a lot where to possibly build a house of God.

The priests offered to buy the one-hectare lot which was valued at over P1 million at the time.

But the family decided to just donate it to spare the church from raising P1 million to buy the property.

Architect Mapeso said that he donated the lot to the Archdiocese on the condition that the church that will be made a parish.

“I specifically requested that we become a parish so we would have a sort of independence especially in building the structure,” Mapeso said.

Their barangay badly needed a church at the time because the closest parish is in Lutopan. The priest decided to dedicate the church to Blessed Pedro Calungsod since there was no parish yet for Blessed Pedro Calungsod in the country.

Mapeso designed the structure in a way that parishioners will be able to see the beautiful sceneries of Toledo in all directions. The church overlooks the mountains of Toledo.

The construction of Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish started in June 2005. The Mapeso family had to take money out of their own pockets to start the construction as all of them were hopeful and eager to have a church soon. Mapeso said the structure still needs about P2 million to P3 million more to be completed.

Sadly, he said, it is unlikely to be completed before the canonization of Calungsod on October 21 this year but he said it will be finished in one or two years.

He said he, more than anybody else, wants the church to be completed immediately as he is not getting any younger. Mapeso is now 80 years old.

“That is why we are hoping for donations. We hope to complete our church the soonest possible time now that Blessed Pedro will soon become a Saint,” Mapeso said.

Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, postulator for Calungsod, who yesterday gave a brief update on the canonization of Calungsod to the residents, said he hopes that the awaited completion of the church will soon end as Calungsod’s journey to sainthood is also about to end.

Leyson said that the construction of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish by the Cantabaco residents is no different to what Calungsod did when he was sent to Guam on a mission.

He said that the team of missionaries sent to Guam also built chapels in different parts of the country to encourage people to attend Mass more often.

He told the parishioners to prepare spiritually to receive the shower of blessings to come once Calungsod is canonized. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in his homily, also told the parishioners to live the life that Calungsod has lived. Palma said that Calungsod has become a witness of God’s love by becoming a martyr where he died for spreading the ways and words of God.

The archbishop said that the residents do not have to shed blood to become witnesses of God but they can show their faith through living a Christ-like life. (FREEMAN)

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VIDAL TO ASK PALACE’S HELP

By Bernadette A. Parco

Friday, February 24, 2012

ARCHBISHOP Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will meet with President Benigno Aquino III to discuss whether the government can financially support the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in October this year.

“We will seek an audience with President Aquino and ask if there is anything the government can help us (with),” he said yesterday.

Vidal said all the parishes in the Archdiocese of Cebu have been asked to help raise funds, which organizers have estimated to reach P50 million.

He said he has also asked the country’s bishops to help.

Whether the fundraising will be in the form of second collection during masses in the parishes or other ways, it will be Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma’s decision.

“All donations from the heart are accepted,” said Vidal, while acknowledging that raising funds these days is difficult of the economic crisis.

The archdiocese is also eyeing the use of a vacant lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) for the Thanksgiving Mass that would be held on Nov. 29. A formal letter of request will be sent to City Hall, who earlier offered the use of the SRP for the event.

Vidal recalled that the Thanksgiving Mass after the beatification of Beato Pedro was held at the former Lahug Airport now the IT Park.

Beato Pedro was a catechist when he was killed on April 2, 1672 in Guam.

Vidal said Calungsod would be known as a patron saint for catechists because of his work.

“He (Pedro) learned Chamorro very fast to help preach the Gospel,” he told reporters during a press conference yesterday. He said Calungsod can also be the patron for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“All canonized saints are for export purposes,” he said in jest.

Cardinal Vidal also presented to the media the Positio or the position paper submitted by the Archdiocese of Cebu to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Vatican City at the start of the investigation on the life of the Visayan lay catechist in the late 1990s.

Vidal, who attended the consistory in Rome last week, also noted that Calungsod’s name was second in the list of seven blessed who were to be canonized.

“They picked a young man and a catechist (who had no) position in the Church,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2012.

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BLESSED PEDRO CALUNGSOD CANONIZATION VIDAL: EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO DONATE

By Niña G. Sumacot/FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – The Archdiocese of Cebu will put no distinction in accepting donations to raise the needed P50 million for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in October.

Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop emeritus of Cebu, who was designated as overall chairman in preparation for the historic event, said that they will welcome all donations regardless of who the donor is as long as it comes from the heart.

Even donations from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation are welcome. The Catholic Church is against gambling, both legal and illegal.

“Of course, they can,” said Vidal, who just arrived Wednesday from Rome where he attended the consistory that named 22 new cardinals.

Even people of dubious character are welcome, he added.

“We do not judge people by just their appearance. What’s important is that the donation comes from their hearts,” the prelate said.

Vidal is also thankful that Cebuanos have always been generous to the Church. Even with the huge amount to raise, he is optimistic that they can come up with the P50 million target before Oct. 21. He was also happy that the date given was enough for them to prepare.

He further said that they are asking all parishes of the archdiocese to assist in the fundraising.

The prelate said a number of devotees have initially manifested interest to attend the canonization in Rome.

“We’ve not talked yet of the number of delegations, but first come, first serve because plenty are coming,” he said.

Filipino Americans and those living in Rome were just among those who wanted to attend the event, Vidal said.

Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, co-chairperson of the activities for the canonization of Calungsod, earlier said that P30 million will be spent for the preparations in Rome. The remaining P20 million will be used to cover the expenses for the local celebrations.

Vidal said it was initially planned that the Thanksgiving Mass will be held on Nov. 29 at the South Road Properties.

“My hair stood up because I did not expect Blessed Pedro Calungsod to become the country’s second saint,” he said.

“He was a layman, a young man and without any position in the church except that he is a sacristan,” he added.

Vidal worked hard to campaign for Calungsod’ canonization.

“Thanks God, I finished the work, the research and all these going back and forth,” the 81-year-old Cardinal said. He started the research about Calungsod 25 years ago.

He added that the process was quite short compared to the other saints who were canonized much more years later. — (FREEMAN)

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CALUNGSOD CANONIZATION ‘PROOF OF FILIPINOS’ SPIRITUALITY, PIOUSNESS’

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MANILA — Malacañang hailed on Thursday the scheduled canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, saying the event is a proof of the Filipinos’ spirituality and piousness.

In a regular media briefing, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the canonization of Blessed Calungsod as the country’s second saint gives honor to the Filipinos as a Catholic nation.

“As Catholics we are very proud and very blessed to have another Filipino Saint and this is going to be our second Filipino saint,” Lacierda said.

He added that Vatican’s declaration of Blessed Calungsod to sainthood shows the bravery of the Filipino people.

“This is an honor for the Filipinos and it also showcases the bravery of the Filipino spirit, Christian spirit in the light of persecution,” Lacierda noted.

Following the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican has recently announced the canonization of the 17th century Visayan martyr Calungsod, which is slated October 21 of this year, making him the second Filipino saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz who was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 18, 1987.

Born in 1655 in Cebu, the lay catechist Calungsod died in Guam while trying to defend his fellow mission worker, Jesuit priest and now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores. Calungsod died at the age of 17.

They were attacked by natives using spear and machete. After being killed, their bodies were tied together and thrown into the sea.

Blessed Calungsod was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000 and since then, Cebuanos have been offering prayers for his intercession. (SDR/Sunnex)

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LENTEN EVENTS TO CAST LIGHT ON PEDRO’S SACRIFICE

By Bernadette A. Parco

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THE 40-day Lenten season begins today, Ash Wednesday, with the ritual of placing ash on the foreheads of mass-goers.

There will be slight changes to this year’s commemoration of the passion, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, with the recent announcement that lay catechist Pedro Calungsod will be canonized on Oct. 21, 2012.

Fr. Mhar Balili, who heads the Vatican City-based liturgy committee, said plans are being finalized for the monthly catechesis on the life, virtues and martyrdom of Calungsod for Filipino migrants.

“We hope to start the catechesis during the Lenten recollection,” he posted in his Facebook account.

Model

In an interview, Msgr. Cristobal Garcia said meditations will focus on Pedro’s life, parallel to the Passion of Christ.

“We have a new saint, so we can imitate him as a model and be inspired by him,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

“His (Calungsod) canonization is really looking at the glory that lies ahead, so we will not feel weakened (by life’s difficulties). With Pedro, we are people who look to him as a champion; neither a catana or a machete will ever defeat us,” he added.

Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged catechist, was killed in Guam on April 2, 1672 along with Jesuit priest Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores, after they baptized a child of one of
the natives.

Garcia, Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman, related that a simple and often overlooked aspect of Calungsod’s life is linked to the Passion of Christ.

“The natives grabbed the crucifix of Padre Diego de San Vitores and were about to smash it. To show his love, Pedro picked up the crucifix so he became defenseless, and that was the time he was hit on the head with a catana,” he related.

“Pedro literally took up the cross and followed Christ,” he added.

Teachings

Garcia also explained that Pedro Calungsod is depicted with a palm, which symbolizes triumph, and a cruficix.

Meanwhile, Balili said preparations in Vatican City are underway, as catechesis or Catholic Church teachings are being planned for Filipino migrants in Italy and possibly some other European countries, to spread the word on the life and virtues of the future San Pedro Calungsod.

He added that the initial line-up of activities includes a triduum of masses before the canonization, vigil and penitential service on the night of the canonization, and a thanksgiving mass.

The other Vatican City-based committee chairpersons are Msgr. Joseph Tan on catechism and Fr. Eligio Suico on pilgrims.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, Archdiocesan media liaison officer and committee head for information dissemination, said preparations are afoot for the traditional Siete Palabras or the meditation on the seven last words of Jesus Christ before his earthly death on the cross.

“All novenas and fiestas should include a teaching on Pedro Calungsod as a lay catechist,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2012.

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CEBU’S LGUS TO JOIN RELIGIOUS CELEBRATION

By Elly T. Bolonos, Justin K. Vestil, Kevin A. Lagunda and Oscar C. Pineda

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIFFERENT local government units in Cebu are willing to help in the celebration of Blessed Pedro de Cebu’s canonization in October.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he is willing to provide logistics for the activities of the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in October.

Rama said he has no problem if the organizers will use the South Road Properties (SRP) as venue for the activities, which include a thanksgiving mass when Calungsod will be canonized in Vatican City.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Province will also help raise funds for the event.

“Cebu will forever be attached to the sainthood. This will give Cebu another international recognition,” she said.

Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City said they are also willing to join the efforts to prepare for the canonization.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza told reporters yesterday she will talk with members of the City Council about what they can offer for the preparations.

Radaza said she will urge private individuals and business establishments in the city to donate for the event’s success.

In Mandaue City, the City Council has yet to decide what kind of help to give to the preparations for the canonization.

Mandaue City Councilor Diosdado Suico said that since there are restrictions on the City Government’s giving financial aid to churches, the council is still determining ways how to help.

Suico, however, said councilors may give individual donations but they are not obliged.

Rama, too, is cautious, on what other help the City can give for the religious activity because of the separation of state and church.

Rama doesn’t want other religious groups, particularly the non-Catholics, to question his act if he will be directly involved in the preparation.

But he said the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac), which is under his office, can come in.

He said sainthood is not only a religious issue but educational, artistic, cultural and historical as well.

For the faithful in Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish in Cantabaco, Toledo City, the martyr’s canonization is a “gift.”

“Amo gyod siyang giampo nga masantos siya (We really prayed for his canonization),” said Macaria Solamillo, parish pastoral council vice president.

The 58-year-old devotee said they are glad Calungsod will be officially recognized as a saint on Oct. 21. She said she is planning to witness the canonization.

Calungsod, an 18-year-old from Ginatilan, Cebu, was martyred in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit missionary, now Blessed Diego Luis de Sanvitores.

Patron

Calungsod and Sanvitores were killed after they tried to baptize one of the natives.

The Cebuano was beatified by Blessed John Paul II in March 5, 2000.

Solamillo, who is also the principal of the Cantabaco Elementary School, said they erupted into applause after Fr. Russel Sungcad announced that Calungsod will become a saint during a mass last Sunday.

After they chose Calungsod as their new patron, they started to build a chapel.

Before, she said their parish was named after the Sto. Niño.

“Among giilisan kay ang Ginoo di man puyde mahimong patron (We changed it because Sto. Niño is Christ, and only saints can be called patrons),” said Solamillo.

She said they are busy beautifying the church in preparation for their fiesta on March 5. Yesterday, several workers were placing tiles on the church’s entrance.

The principal said a miracle happened to her after she asked for help from Calungsod: her hypertension disappeared.

She further said there is only one trait of Calungsod that she admired and that is the martyr’s strong faith in God.

“Masanto na siya mobuhagay na gyod siya sa iyang mga milagro (More miracles will be showered if he becomes a saint),” said Solamillo.

Crowd

Rama said that when Calungsod will be formally canonized in October, he will bring significance not only to the city to the entire country.

Calungsod will be the second Filipino saint after Lorenzo Ruiz.

Rama reminded Chac to explore this possibility so they can extend whatever help the City can give to the canonization.

Rama sees a lot of Cebuanos to attend the thanksgiving mass for Calungsod’s canonization, along with devotees from other provinces.

“I would like that it can be picked up by Chac rather than the Office of the Mayor to be the one primarily doing it,” Rama said.

Meanwhile, Rama plans to witness the canonization of Calungsod in Vatican City to represent Cebu City.

Garcia is also planning to attend the canonization.

Rama recalled that when Calungsod was beatified more than 11 years ago, then Mayor Alvin Garcia went to Rome to represent the City.

October

“If the former mayor went there for the beatification, the more reason Cebu City should be represented (during the canonization),” Rama said.

It was Blessed Pope John Paul II who beatified Calungsod on March 5, 2000 at Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Italy.

The mayor clarified, though, he will find a way to represent the City without the use of government funds for his travel.

Pope Benedict XVI announced last Saturday that Calungsod, a Filipino catechist, is one of seven blessed or beatified persons to be canonized or recognized as saints on Oct. 21, 2012.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2012.

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EDITORIAL: HUMANIZING A SAINT

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

IT’S actually a bit of a downer to note that the Visayas, almost five centuries since Catholicism was introduced in its shores by a Spanish fleet led by Ferdinand Magellan, could only produce one saint so far.

But that also explains the eruption of joy after Pope Benedict XVI announced recently the canonization of seven blessed persons, including the Visayan Pedro Calungsod, on Oct. 21 this year.

Then again, the matter of ascribing sainthood to a Catholic faithful is a very human undertaking.

Had it not been for the painstaking push by the Cebu archdiocese led by then archbishop (now archbishop emeritus) Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Calungsod’s martyrdom would have gone unnoticed by the Vatican.

Calungsod, who will be known as San Pedro de Cebu (the first Filipino saint is San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila), has been referred to in reports simply as a Filipino catechist.

Calungsod was killed in Guam in 1672 while helping Spanish Jesuit priest (he’s now “blessed”) Diego Luis de San Vitores spread the word of God there.

(That means he is not an overseas Filipino worker in the strictest sense of the phrase. He joined San Vitores not for the pay but as a volunteer to help the priest spread the good news in a foreign land.)

“As the promoter of their cause, which began in 1986, I am very grateful to the Lord for the great blessing He has bestowed on our people,” Vidal said.

Calungsod’s sainthood, however, is not the dead end. Instead, it provides the cardinal and the Cebu archdiocese a new challenge. Once he is saint, the next task is to humanize him.

The purpose of the Church in elevating people to the level of saints is not to make them God-like and therefore unreachable but to make ordinary Catholics believe that these saints’ faith and outstanding work are humanly achievable.

Before Calungsod became a martyr, he was an ordinary Visayan. The challenge for the Cebu archdiocese is therefore to flesh out the soon-to-be-saint’s life.

Calungsod’s martyrdom is well-known, but much still needs to be told about who he really was. In this sense, the story of San Pedro de Cebu still has to be expounded.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2012.

——

‘CALUNGSOD’S STORY OF FAITH FOUNDED IN CEBU’

FOR devotees Doris Nelsa Banaynal and Carlo Bacaltos, last Saturday’s announcement of the canonization of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod was a dream come true.

Banaynal, a choir coordinator in the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Shrine in the Archbishop’s Residence for nine years, said she could only hope to attend the canonization rites in Oct. 21 in the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI announced last Saturday the date for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, a young Visayan martyr, and six other candidates for sainthood from Europe and the US.

“It’s a different feeling when it’s a Filipino saint. He is one of us, he is from Cebu. The whole world will know about him and the good deeds he has done,” she told Cebu Daily News.

Banaynal said Calungsod’s canonization is significant for both Catholics in the country and the Cebuano faithful since he would be venerated worldwide and across various cultures. “The official story of Calungsod is in Cebu,” she said.

For his part, 24-year-old altar server Carlo Bacaltos said he had been looking up to Calungsod for guidance since he was young.

“He is a good model because of the devotion he has shown at a young age,” Bacaltos said.

For the longest time

Bacaltos, who works as secretary in the office of the Calungsod shrine for six years now, said he feels a connection with the young Visayan catechist, who was martyred in the 17th century.

He said he felt overwhelmed and happy after the date for his canonization was set.

“For the longest time, we have been waiting for this to happen. This is really it,” Bacaltos said.

Calungsod served as a catechist and assistant on a mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands, now known as Guam.

He was speared with a cutlass by hostile natives in April 2, 1672 when he and Fr. Diego were baptizing villagers.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal met with the Cebuano clergy in Rome, Italy, shortly after the announcement.

Vidal is the overall chairman of the activities related to the canonization of Calungsod.

Grateful

The 80-year-old prelate thanked all those who helped in their own way to promoting Calungsod’s cause.

“As the promoter of the cause (for Calungsod’s sainthood) that began in 1986, I am very grateful to the Lord for the great blessing he has bestowed on our people,” said Vidal in his message as relayed by Rev. Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili through Facebook.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in an interview, said another meeting is expected to transpire when Vidal will arrive home.

The Cebu Archdiocese will intensify its awareness campaign on Calungsod in the months to come.

Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said catechetical modules are being prepared to teach the public about Calungsod’s background.

A book regarding the life of the young Visayan martyr is sold at the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Shrine on D. Jakosalem Street in Cebu City, at the National Bookstore outlets and at the Patria de Cebu.

“Before the canonization, parishes and chapels will educate the people about the life, mission and the new evangelization of Pedro Calungsod,” Binghay said.

For the community

He said the archdiocese shall also organize radio dramas and song contests, among others, to promote the life of Calungsod.

“Pedro Calungsod isn’t just for the Church but also for the community,” Binghay said.

“His canonization should encourage us to live a just life. May he inspire us to do something for the growth, not just of the Church, but also for our nation,” he said.

The Cebu Archdiocese is raising at least P50 million for the canonization of Calungsod.

About P30 million will be spent for the canonization rites in Rome, while P20 million will be used for the Thanksgiving Rites in Cebu.

The Thanksgiving Rites will be held after Calungsod’s canonization in Rome on Oct. 21, 2012.

The archdiocese is considering a wide, vacant lot in Cebu where the Thanksgiving Rites will be made.

Binghay said the archdiocese is hoping to raise the amount that will be used for the expenses of Calungsod’s canonization.

Once canonized, Calungsod will join St. Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila in the pantheon of saints.

Ruiz and 15 companions were beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II on Feb. 18, 1981. He was canonized six years after. / Ador Vincent Mayol and Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporters

——

BISHOPS’ CELEBRATION OF CALUNGSOD’S CANONIZATION SET NOVEMBER

Monday, February 20, 2012

THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the celebration of the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in the country will be in November.

CBCP president Archbishop Jose Palma refused to detail the preparation noting that it will be announced later.

On Saturday, the Vatican announced the canonization of Calungsod will be conducted on October 21, 2012.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, confirmed the canonization of Calungsod and six others after a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.

Catholic prelates applauded the scheduled canonization of Calungsod, the country’s second Filipino saint.

Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said they are happy that our country will have a second Filipino saint.

“Both of them are laymen and martyrs. It shows that our lay persons can respond to the call to holiness. It also shows that we are brave to face even death for the sake of our faith,” he said.

For his part, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the canonization of the second Filipino saint is a sign of the growing importance of the Church in the Philippines for the Universal Church.

“The fact that he like St. Lorenzo is a lay person shows the great importance of non-ordained faithful in the Church in Asia. The Filipino youth must read the signs of the times and the message of the Pope to them,” he said.

Calungsod was born in Visayas in 1654. The Filipino Catholic martyr was doing missionary work in Guam in 1672 when he was killed at age 18.

The Cebuano missionary will be proclaimed a saint more than a decade after he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

San Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint. (FP/Sunnex)

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MASSES ERUPT IN CELEBRATION OF PINOY’S SAINTHOOD

By Bernadette A. Parco

Monday, February 20, 2012

CEBU CITY – Most mass participants clapped, some joyfully shouted, “Viva San Pedro de Cebu,” and others burst into song. All of these were for a katagilungsod (compatriot) who will soon be raised to sainthood.

News of the canonization this year of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the young catechist from the Visayas, spread quickly from church to church from Cebu to Leyte Sunday.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Saturday evening (morning in Italy) that Calungsod, a Filipino lay catechist, is one of seven blessed or beatified persons to be canonized or recognized as saints on October 21, 2012 in Vatican City.

Calungsod was martyred in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit priest, now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, and was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2000.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who is in Rome to attend the consistory, delivered a message that was posted by his former secretary Fr. Mhar Balili on his Facebook account.

“As the promoter of their cause which began in 1986, I am very grateful to the Lord for the great blessing he has bestowed on our people,” said 81-year-old Vidal.

“I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the promotion of Blessed Pedro’s cause. I hope that their blessing will help to unite our people and bring in peace and harmony,” he added.

The announcements to the faithful began as early as 5 a.m. during the mass led by Fr. Dodong Desuyo at the Our Lady of Remedies parish church in Barangay Odlot, Bogo City to Villaba town in Leyte Province.

“Ang mga parokyano sa Odlot misinggit og ‘Viva San Pedro de Cebu’ ug mipakpak pinakakusog (The parishioners of Odlot shouted, ‘Viva San Pedro de Cebu’ and clapped loudly),” Desuyo told Sun.Star Cebu.

Preparations

“We will start on our preparation for our participation in the national thanksgiving in November,” he added.

Fr. Erwin Miro, from the Holy Child Parish in Villaba town in Leyte, made the same announcement during the 6:30 a.m. mass.

“They were very happy and proud especially that he comes from the Visayan region,” said Miro.

“I’m proud and happy for the great grace God has bestowed on us Filipino Catholics. To God be the glory!” he added.

Sun.Star Cebu also received similar reports of elation from the people in some parishes where announcements were made during masses.

These included Our Lady of the Sacred Heart parish in Barangay Capitol Site, San Isidro de Labrador Parish in Barangay Talamban in Cebu City, San Sebastian Parish in Borbon, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

In a separate interview, Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman Msgr. Cristobal Garcia said he was saying mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus Nazareno in Cansojong, Talisay City.

Singing

“I had the consistory monitored by the brothers because I was saying mass. At the end of the mass I read their note, which was in Latin and then translated it but it was useless because they (the mass-goers) recognized the name of Pedro and his last name and they began clapping and singing ‘Way sukod (Love without Recompense),’” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

“After (that) they almost did not care for the final blessing, they rushed to his statue. I pray our love for God and for each other will be like Pedro’s ‘Way sukod,’” he added.

A large crowd during the 10 a.m. mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño’s Pilgrim Center clapped when Fr. Tito Soquiño, OSA, said the long wait is over and that Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be canonized in eight months.

The Augustinian priest underscored in a message delivered before the final blessing that the country’s second saint is a layman, whom the people could emulate.

The news of the coming canonization is indeed a cause for celebration for everyone, said Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes.

“I did announce the October 21 canonization to the people at the beginning. It was met with applause as it is a great grace not only to Cebu but to the whole country as well,” he added.

Celebration

Cortes delivered the good news to the fiesta mass participants at the Sto. Niño Parish in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City Sunday morning.

In a separate interview, Diocesan Vocation Director Fr. Socrates Saldua told reporters the coming canonization of “a kababayan (fellow countryman), a katagilungsod” should also be a cause for “spiritual celebration.”

“We have to reflect on his life, as a catechist and an OFW (overseas Filipino worker),” he told reporters Sunday.

“So, this is also a challenge to bring the word of God to all our countrymen. We should follow his simplicity of life, ordinariness of service, not so rich in material goods. He (Pedro) was just an aide,” he added.

Dumaguete Bishop John Du dropped by the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod located within the Archbishop’s residence compound yesterday morning to recite a short prayer.

He recalled being in charge of the Duaw Lungsod, the activity promoting the devotion to Beato Pedro by visiting parishes in Cebu and nearby provinces.

Gratitude

In 2002, he was unable to join the group to Camotes Island but he was there at the send-off at the Danao city port.

Du visited the beach house donated to the archdiocese in Compostela town, climbed to the second floor and fell through the floor.

“I was unconscious and the people there revived me by giving me hot water. I woke up and did not have any cuts or bruises after the 12-foot fall,” he said.

“I attribute that to Beato Pedro,” he added.

Bishop Du said the devotion to the teenaged martyr is also popular in the Dumaguete diocese, which is one of four suffragan dioceses of Cebu.

Another visitor to the shrine, who asked not to be named, said she had to drop by before she went home from attending a mass of a trans-parochial community. She learned the news in the papers.

She told Sun.Star Cebu that she asked Beato Pedro to intercede for her so she can return to Rome and witness his canonization in October this year. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 20, 2012.

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CURE OF COMATOSE WOMAN LEADS TO SAINTHOOD

By Bernadette A. Parco

Monday, February 20, 2012

THE miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Pedro Calungsod was the rapid recovery of a comatose woman who had a very slim chance of survival.

The Catholic Church officially recognized this medical case when Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing, which was the last requirement for declaring the Visayan martyr a saint.

The pope announced during the weekend that the canonization of Beato Pedro and six other religious men and women will be on Oct. 21, 2012.

Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, the postulator or lawyer for Calungsod, told Sun.Star Cebu before he left for Rome last week that the female patient was in a coma.

“Anyone can be in a coma, but this patient had the lowest level of EEG

(electroencephalogram) reading,” he said. The EEG is the recording of electrical activity in the brain.

“There are three levels of the comatose condition, which are measured through the degree of responsiveness of the patient’s eyes, speech and the state of the whole body,” said Leyson.

“The patient was in a Glassgow Coma scale 3, a very low level. The eyes were not responsive, she had no speech and no response from the rest of the body,” he added.

Miracle

The EEG reading was interpreted by a technician, who said that based on his experience in similar cases, the patient was expected to die soon. The patient had suffered from hypoxic encephalopathy or lack of oxygen in the brain, which may be traced to cardiac arrest.

Leyson related that the patient was in this condition when Blessed Pedro Calungsod was invoked at 2 p.m. that day.

By 6 p.m., the patient regained consciousness.

“It was a miracle, because from that state, the patient recovered with no effects on the brain or motor functions,” he said.

“Usually, it takes a long time to recover from a coma. Some suffer from the effects of being in a coma. But this patient did not have motor and sensory deficits,” he added.

The patient never died, clarified Leyson; there was brain activity, but this was very low.

“The miracle was the rapid recovery of the patient,” he added.

Msgr. Leyson did not reveal the details of the identity of the patient, where she hails from or where she was confined.

“It is not so much about the patient but Blessed Pedro Calungsod,” he said.

“Canonization touches religion. It is God performing a miracle through the intercession of Calungsod. Pedro is only the intercessor, God did this miracle,” he added.

In an earlier interview, Leyson told reporters that out of respect for the patient’s privacy, he was unable to reveal her identity. He may do so only when the Vatican City releases the official text that would be written in Latin, which he would translate in English and possibly Cebuano.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 20, 2012.

——

PEDRO’S OCT. 21 HONOR

2/19/2012

Vatican date ‘enough time to prepare,’ says Cebu Archbishop

Oct. 21, 2012 is a red-letter day for Filipino Catholics and Cebuanos in particular.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the date for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, a young Visayan martyr, along with six other candidates for sainthood from Europe and the United States.

The date of the Vatican rites was eagerly awaited to set in motion preparations by the clergy and devotees in Cebu, where the campaign for Calungsod’s 2005 beatification and canonization started.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma watched the live broadcast of the Pope’s announcement over EWTN from his residence in Cebu City.

He threw his fist in the air and said “Wow!”

“This is a long-awaited moment. The official announcement was made by the Pope. Of course, people would be very happy. I was alone in my room. I was rejoicing,” Palma told Cebu Daily News.

The Pope declared the coming honors for seven “blessed,” a title given to beatified members of the church, at the end of a consistory for new cardinals held at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome about 7 p.m. Philippine time.

“By authority of Almighty God, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and our Own, we decree that Blessed Jacques Berthieu, Pedro Calungsod, Giovanni Battista Piamarta, María del Monte Carmelo Sallés y Barangueras, Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha and Anna Schäffer are to be enrolled among the Saints … ,” the Pope said in Latin.

Calungsod’s companions for sainthood came from Italy, France, Spain, Germany and America.

Calungsod, the missionary helper of a Jesuit priest, was killed by natives of Guam in 1672.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was in Rome attending the consistory that named 22 new cardinals.

Vidal is the overall chairman for the canonization of Calungsod.

“With the announcement, Cardinal Vidal will have a meeting with Cebuano student priests in Rome to make the necessary preparation,” said Fr. Mhar Balili.

Fr. Balili, a Cebu diocesan priest studying in Rome’s Pontifico Sant Anselmo, will lead the committee on liturgy for the canonization of Calungsod there.

’Long-awaited moment’

Msgr. Joseph Tan will head the committee for catechism for the Filipino migrants in Italy, Fr. Ely Suico and Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes for the committee on pilgrims in Rome.

Fr. Balili said Cardinal Vidal will leave for Cebu tomorrow.

Archbishop Palma said Vidal wanted the date of the canonization to fall in October so there would be enough time to prepare for it.

Traditionally, these special church rites take place in summer or fall. The canonization of Pope John Paul II was held last May 1.

Palma said Calungsod’s Oct. 12 canonization falls on the third Sunday of October, which also marks the elebration of World Mission Sunday.

“It gives us a reason for thanksgiving and joy. Let us give thanks to the Lord for giving us another Filipino saint,” said Palma, who’s also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“Calungsod is our intercessor and friend in heaven. He is a model for us to spread the faith.”

Calungsod is the patron saint for Cebu youths, a title declared by Cardinal Vidal.

Witnesses

The Cebu Archdiocese plans to raise at least P50 million for the event through donations.

While the Vatican mounts the main liturgical rites, other activities to ensure full participation of the Filipino faithful will need additional logistics.

Episcopal Vicar Msgr. Esteban Binghay said 10 percent of the target P50 million will come from the parishes at P15,000 to P150,000 each, depending on the size and population, while clergy members would contribute P2,000 to P20,000 each.

Binghay said P30 million to P35 million will be spent for the canonization rites in Rome, while P20 to P25 million will be spent for the National Thanksgiving Rites in Cebu.

Precanonization activites would include liturgical functions in Rome and novena masses in Cebu.

Binghay said a live-video feed to a giant screen is being planned for Cebu City, possibly at the South Roads Properties.

In Rome, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, presented the seven candidates for canonization to the Pope.

“These seven blesseds, living amid the circumstances of their times, bore witness to the extraordinary fruitfulness and perennial newness of the Gospel … they are also powerful intercessors for divine assistance, heavenly graces and favors,” he said.

Unanimous

A group of medical experts, theologians and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints helped the Pope decide on these cases.

The miracle attributed to Calungsod happened in 2003 when a Visayan woman who had heart surgery “rapidly recovered” from lack of oxygen in her brain.

The woman, whose identity has been kept confidential so far by the Archdiocese, is expected to be among the delegates attending the Rome rites.

The doctor believed that she would die the following day and prayed, invoking Calungsod’s intercession for her recovery.

Like beatification, one miracle should be attributed to the intercession of Calungsod for him to be declared a saint. The miracle can only be validated by the pope.

Calungsod served as a catechist and assistant on a mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands, now known as Guam.

He was speared with a cutlass by hostile natives in April 2, 1672 when he and Fr. Diego were baptizing villagers. /By Ador Vincent Mayol, Patricia Andrea Pateña and Candeze Mongaya

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PINOY SAINT NAMED

By Bernadette A. Parco

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CEBU CITY — The Philippines has its second saint in the Cebuano teenaged martyr Pedro Calungsod, soon to be known as San Pedro de Cebu.

Pope Benedict XVI announced that the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod and six other religious men and women will be on October 21, 2012.

Archbishop Jose Palma told Sun.Star Cebu the news will be spread today, Sunday, in as many parishes and chaplaincies as possible under the Archdiocese of Cebu.

“We will exhort the various committees to implement action programs,” Palma said.

“I will give instructions to the auxiliary bishops and vicars general. (The announcement would be made to) as many as can be reached. All we do is repeat the official announcement made by the Pope,” he added.

The Pope made the announcement last night — Saturday morning in Vatican City, Italy — after he led the installation of 22 new cardinals during liturgical rites held at St. Peter’s Basilica. The Eternal Word Television Network aired the ceremonies live.

The Vatican News Service, meanwhile, reported that “following the 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 seven blessed persons, among them Pedro Calungsod, “a Filipino lay catechist and martyr.”

The others are Jacques Berthieu, a French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth; 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, USA; Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman; and Anna Schaffer, German laywoman.

“The Holy Father has decreed that the canonization ceremony will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21. The consistory concluded with the apostolic blessing,” the report stated.

Fr. Mhar Balili, a Cebuano diocesan priest on a study leave in Rome and who witnessed the ceremony, posted the good news in his Facebook account.

He added that Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the national chairperson of the committee preparing for the canonization of the Cebuano martyr, would be meeting with Cebuano priests in Rome to start the necessary preparations.

The Rome-based committee chairpersons are: Msgr. Joseph Tan for catechism of Filipino migrants in Italy, Fr. Mhar Balili for liturgy, Fr. Ely Suico and Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes for the pilgrims.

Beato Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged catechist, was martyred in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit priest, now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Cardinal Vidal had called Calungsod a Cebuano, as he was part of the Cebu diocese at the time of his death. In the 1600s, the diocese included the whole of Visayas, Mindanao and the Marianas Islands.

He was also the one who revealed that the young catechist would be known as “San Pedro de Cebu.”

It was in December last year that Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of Calungsod, the last step before his name was included in the list of saints or the process of canonization.

The country’s first saint, San Lorenzo de Manila, was also a martyr who died for his faith in Nagasaki, Japan. He worked as a calligrapher for the Dominican parish of Binondo, Manila.

He was the first person to be beatified outside Vatican City during liturgical rites held in Manila by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1981. He was canonized by the same Pontiff in October 1987. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2012.

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CHURCH GEARS FOR PEDRO CALUNGSOD’S CANONIZATION

MANILA, Feb. 7, 2012—The Archdiocese of Cebu has taken the lead role in both the spiritual and physical preparations for the canonization of the Philippines’ second saint in the person of Blessed Pedro Calungsod which will likely take place during the later part of 2012.

Fr. Marvin Mejia, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines assistant secretary general said CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma has organized three different committees in Rome, Cebu and at the national level.

“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 into the Thanksgiving Mass in Cebu City scheduled after the canonization,” Mejia told CBCPNews.

Heading the publicity committee is Cebu City-based Fr. Trinidad Silva, the archdiocesan media director, said Mejia.

Asked of a definite date for the canonization rites, Mejia said the Vatican still has to announce the schedule.

“The canonization comes at a most opportune time because the Catholic church in the Philippines just ended the Year of the Youth last December and has embarked on the Year of the Missions this 2012,” Mejia said.

According to Mejia, there are five phases in the program including activities related to the pre-announcement phase, the post announcement, pre-canonization rites where catechetical conferences on the would-be saint will be held across the country, the canonization rites in Rome and the post-canonization phase where a National Thanksgiving Mass will be scheduled in Cebu City.

Blessed Pedro Calungsod was a young man when he joined the missionaries to Guam and was killed because of his unwavering faith in Christianity. (Melo M. Acuna/CBCPNews)

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MAJOR MIRACLE OF PEDRO CALUNGSOD

Posted by Online on Dec 25th, 2011

CEBU CITY, Philippines – As the entire country especially the Visayan Region is excited for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod sometime next year, Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, postulator or lawyer for the cause of canonization of Blessed Pedro in a press conference last Friday shared the major miracle attributed to Blessed Pedro, the second Filipino saint.

Leyson disclosed that the authentic major miracle which highly supported the elevation of Blessed Pedro to sainthood was invoked by a doctor believer of Blessed Pedro to a woman who almost died because of insufficient oxygen in the brain.

The woman, who was 49 when the miracle happened in March 26, 2003, was suffering from Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that occurs when the entire brain is deprived of an adequate oxygen supply, but the deprivation isn’t total.

She was confined in a hospital here in Cebu when the major miracle happened that change her life with “no sensory and motor deficit” despite her very crucial health condition.

Leyson explained that the woman’s rapid recovery in just four hours is something very rare that the doctor can’t explain and even the Vatican consultor physicians declared it as a supernatural healing.

Last July 2, the Vatican consultor theologians authenticated that the supernatural healing was due to the intercession of Blessed Pedro. Then, on October 11 this year, the Vatican consultor cardinals. Archbishops and bishops unanimously affirmed that what the physicians and theologians declared could point to an authentic major miracle and it is opportune to declare Blessed Pedro a saint.

Finally, last December 19, Pope Benedict declared that there is indeed an authentic major miracle attributed to Blessed Pedro.

“We now look forward to next year, 2012, when the Pope will call all cardinals to a consistory to gather explicit assent to the canonization of Blessed Pedro,” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on the same occasion.

Palma expressed optimism that next year Blessed Pedro will be officially canonized and be invoked as Saint Pedro Calungsod.

“The year 2012 coincides with the 340th anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Pedro. It will truly be a year of grace for all Filipinos and the Universal Church. Let us prepare ourselves spiritually so that we will be able to receive the graces that come with the canonization,” Palma added.(Phoebe Jen Indino)

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VATICAN CONFIRMS PEDRO’S MIRACLE

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CEBU CITY — One more step, and the country may soon have its first Visayan saint.

Pope Benedict XVI has promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of a Visayan martyr, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

The next step will be the announcement of the date of canonization, which will officially include the name of Pedro Calungsod in the list of saints recognized by the Catholic Church.

“Yes, the Pope has approved the miracle required for canonization,” Archbishop Palma said in a text message. “We just have to wait for the schedule of the canonization ceremony.”

Pedro Calungsod was a teenager martyred in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit priest, now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

It was Blessed Pope John Paul II who beatified Calungsod on March 5, 2000.

The Archdiocese of Cebu, under the direction of now Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, submitted a case of an “unexplained healing” of a Cebuana.

Cardinal Vidal told Sun.Star Cebu Tuesday the identity of the person could not be revealed, “to respect her privacy.”

“Let us pray that the Holy Father will tell us when the canonization would be,” he said.

The 80-year-old prelate said there would still be a votation that would be conducted among all the cardinals.

“We would say ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, which indicates whether the cardinals approve of the canonization of the candidates,” he said.

In a separate interview, Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson explained that in order for the Pope to declare a candidate a saint, he needs a miracle.

“Now, at last there is a miracle na gi-declare ni Pope. Now, canonization will be determined,” he said.

There are four stages to canonization, which would require separate studies by doctors, theologians and selected cardinals.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), the Pope promulgated that there was a miracle, there was divine intervention or that a divine sign or something supernatural that would indeed confirm that Calungsod is a saint, that he is in heaven,” Leyson said.

Leyson, the postulator for the cause of canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, said the next step after the promulgation of the decree would be the votation among the cardinals.

“All the cardinals would be sent a copy of the biography of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. (A letter) informing them there is a Blessed to be canonized by the Pope,” he said.

He added that after the cardinals have been informed formally and say whether they agree or are “of one mind”, then the Vatican Secretary of State will assign the date of actual proclamation of the canonization.

Cardinal Vidal said after the announcement of the decree by Vatican, the letters are most likely already being sent to all cardinals. But he has not received any kind of correspondence yet.

The Vatican News Service announced on Monday evening that aside from Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr (1654-1672), there are six other candidates for canonization.

These are: Italian priest Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, French martyr and Jesuit priest Blessed Jacques Berthieu, Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching Blessed Maria del Carmen and American Blessed Maria Anna Cope, nee Barbara, German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

The others are laywomen American Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and German Blessed Anna Schaffer.

There are also five candidates who are still in the early stages to sainthood, with the title servant of God.

Cardinal Vidal has been appointed by Archbishop Palma as overall chairman for the preparation for the archdiocese-wide celebration of Calungsod’s canonization.

Vidal said his first task would be organizing the group of pilgrims who will go to Vatican City to witness the canonization of Pedro Calungsod.

He said there are no specific people who would be joining the congregation, only those who wish to join the group and individuals who can pay for their own accommodation and travel expenses.

But Archbishop Palma, auxiliary bishops, and devotees are sure to join the group. The thanksgiving mass would be held by the Archdiocese after the canonization rites in Rome.

“It’s a witnessing,” said Cardinal Vidal of the canonization of the country’s second saint. The first was Saint Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila.

“We have to look up to them, they are raised to the altars of sainthood for others to follow or emulate,” he added. (BAP of Sun.Star Cebu)

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