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Feast of San Pedro Calungsod: ‘Having a saint from the Visayas is not enough’

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol April 03,2014 - 08:33 AM

File Photo–Jaime Calungsod, 85, shows the prayer booklets on Blessed Pedro Calungsod, whom he claims is his distant relative. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

“BE holy and aspire to become saints.”

This was the challenge posed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as Catholics yesterday marked the feast of St. Pedro Calungsod, the first Visayan martyr to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

Hundreds of devotees trooped to the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Pedro Calungsod along D. Jakosalem Street in Cebu City.

The young missionary was killed by angry natives in Guam, along with Jesuit priest, Fr. Diego de San Vitores on April 2, 1672.

Palma in his homily said having a saint from the Visayas is never enough.

“If Pedro Calungsod became a saint, then all of us should also become saints. Our devotion is useless if we do not become saints in the process,” he said.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Antonio Rañola and close to 30 priests from the Archdiocese of Cebu concelebrated the Mass.

Palma recently returned from Rome, where he had meetings to prepare for the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu in 2016.

The year 2014 was declared the Year of the Laity.

“Let us ponder upon the life of St. Pedro Calungsod, a lay person. We are reminded that the call to holiness is not just for the clergy but for all. We are called to be holy just as our heavenly Father is holy,” Palma said.

In fact, he said the two Filipino saints—Calungsod and Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila—are lay people.
Bishop Camomot

Last March 26, Palma said he and a couple of priests from Cebu, went to Angelo Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to submit the result of the diocesan process for the beatification of the late Cebuano Bishop Teofilo Camomot.

“While we were there, Cardinal Amato asked me, ‘What has become of your devotion to St. Pedro Calungsod?’ He said Pedro is the most popular among the seven saints who were canonized on Oct. 21, 2012 ,” said Palma.

Out of the 42 persons who were beatified on on March 5, 2000, only Calungsod advanced to be declared a saint.

And of the seven saints who were canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012, only Calungsod has an image, in the form of a mosaic, inside the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Palma requested Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, the vice postulator of the cause for sainthood of Calungsod and the rector of St. Pedro Calungsod Shrine, to gather several testimonies of people who claimed to have received graces and healing from the Lord through the intercession of the Visayan martyr.

The clergy as well as several lay people lined up after the Mass to venerate the image of St. Pedro Calungsod that was placed inside a glass case adorned with flowers.

The same image was bought to Rome last year for the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod.
A katana or a long bladed weapon was placed at the image’s side to highlight what was used in killing the martyr. On his feet was a stone that was taken from the area where Calungsod was martyred.

In the afternoon, a replica of Calungsod’s image was brought out in a procession after the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal at 4 p.m.

Msgr. Leyson said a plenary indulgence may be gained by anyone who visited the Cebu Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro during the novena and feast day of the Visayan martyr.

Aside from visiting the shrine, one must go to Sacramental Confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Pope.

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