Priest Stuff

Priest Stuff
Lord, I never wanted to be separated from you.

The Rumors on Blessed Pedro Calungsod (c. 1654 – April 2, 1672)

NOTE: This blog was prompted by rumors about his canonization last March 2011. However, he's on his way to sainthood now. SEE 
http://www.ucanews.com/2011/10/19/hopes-for-second-filipino-saint/


Blessed Pedro Calungsod (c. 1654–April 2, 1672) was a teenage Filipino Roman Catholic from Cebu in the Philippines who was martyred because of his faith while undertaking his missionary work as a lay catechist in Guam in 1672. He was formally recognized by the Catholic Church as a "beato" (blessed) in the Beatification rites presided by the Blessed Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000 at the Vatican City. Beatification is the ecclesiastical acknowledgment that a departed person has entered Heaven and has the capacity to intercede on behalf of the faithfuls who pray in his (or her) name.

His Mission and Death
As an adept sacristan, he was a companion of Blessed Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores to the Marianas IslandsThe effort to evangelize the natives were not received pleasantly. A Chinese man named Choco, who was also shipwrecked in the Marianas two decades before the missionaries arrived, allegedly spread rumors that the baptismal waters and anointing oils caused the death of the people. Choco was an apostate who was eventually baptized when he ceded his claims  after days-long public debate with Fr. de San Vitores. 


However, the rumors remained which cost Calungsod his life. On the fateful day of April 2, 1672, Calungsod was with Fr. de San Vitores to perform baptisms in the village of Tomhom when a former Christian convert refused to have his infant daughter christened. The apostate was said to be the village chief Matap'ang, who enlisted the warrior Hirao to kill the Jesuit priest.

Since Calungsod was also involved, the two natives turned against him first. Although able-bodied, Calungsod merely dodged the attacks and opted not to fight back in obedience to the Christian teachings. Instead of running to save his life, Calungsod protected the priest and was hit in the chest by a spear. He was given an absolution by Fr. de San Vitores before the Jesuit faced his own death. Their bodies were mutilated and thrown into the sea at Tomhom (now known as Tumon).


The Beatification Homily
The homily of Blessed Pope John Paul II during the Beatification Rites of Blessed Pedro Calungsod and 43 others includes the following:

"If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven" (Mt 10: 32). From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. 

Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr Diego, but as a "good soldier of Christ" preferred to die at the missionary's side. Today Bl. Pedro Calungsod intercedes for the young, in particular those of his native Philippines, and he challenges them. Young friends, do not hesitate to follow the example of Pedro, who "pleased God and was loved by him" (Wis 4: 10) and who, having come to perfection in so short a time, lived a full life (cf. ibid., v. 13). 



His Miracles
In 2008, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal expressed hope that Blessed Calungsod would soon be canonized. A beatified person can be proclaimed a saint only after miracles attributed to him (or her) are authenticated. Several people have sought his intercession and attested to the miracles that he manifested: the cure of a young man who was inflicted with bone cancer and the salvation of a kidnap victim among others. All of these happened through Blessed Pedro Calungsod's intercession.

A Facebook Rumor
On the last week of March 2011, a Facebook rumor circulated that Blessed Pedro Calungsod will soon be the second Filipino saint following San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila:
______________________________________

HABEMUS SANCTUM!

The Philippine ambassador to the Vatican, the Hon. Mercy Tuason, has communicated the tiding of great joy to us, Filipinos, and to the whole Catholic world that our very own Blessed Pedro Calungsod has been approved by the Holy See for canonization. Date of canonization is yet to be announced though. This is very timely as CBCP has declared the present year as the Year of the Youth.

We are celebrating the feast of Blessed Pedro Calungsod this coming Saturday, 2 April, which is also the day of the pious death of our dear Pope John Paul II (2005).

Deo gratias!

Himaya sa Diyos!
______________________________________

Randolf Flores, an administrator of a 100% Katolikong Pinoy, Filipino Catholic Facebook Page, requested me to clarify the issue since I am in Rome and there were those who claim that such rumor is a false alarm. I called up our Philippine Embassy to the Holy See on March 28, 2011 at around 10:00AM (Rome Time) to confirm such news. I was not able to speak to the Ambassador herself because she was not there. Senior Staff member Flor Icasiano told me that "the embassy has not received yet any official communications from the Holy See regarding the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod". She added that "the rumors are not true and they did not disseminate such information."


Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, Postulator for the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Pedro, reiterated that: 
"Not true(the canonization). We only passed the scrutiny of doctors. We still need the scrutiny of the theologians and the cardinals."


We hope and pray that this dream becomes a reality soon because such recognition will not only be the pride of the Cebuanos or the Filipinos in general, but of the Universal Church. We continue to pray for his canonization. 



PRAYER FOR THE CANONIZATION OF 
BLESSED PEDRO CALUNGSOD

O God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, graciously grant the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, if it be for the greater glory of your Name and for the good our souls. AMEN.

Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be.

o-o-O-o-o

O Dios, pinaagi sa pangama sa Mahal nga Birhen Maria, mapuangurong itugot ang Kanonisasyon ni Beato Pedro Calungsod, kung ugaling kini alang sa labaw'ng kahimayaan sa Imong Ngalan ug alang sa kaayohan sa among mga kalag. AMEN.

Amahan Namo.... Maghimaya ka Maria... Himaya sa Amahan....



EPILOGUE

Though he has not been officially recognized yet as a saint, we know that he is already enjoying the beatific vision in God's eternal kingdom. That alone, is more than enough for us to make him a model. Let us remain faithful to God so that like Blessed Pedro Calungsod, we may remain steadfast in our faith, fervent in our hope and selfless in love. 

Blesssed Pedro Calungsod gave up his life as a consequence of a rumor. Another rumor, a Facebook  rumor, is nothing in comparison with it. He is not new to such rumors anymore. As excited as we may be, let us anticipate his formal declaration as a saint with prayers and not with unconfirmed informations. 


Blessed Pedro Calungsod, pray for us!




Sources:
Homily of Pope John Paul II, Beatification of 44 Servants of God, Sunday, 5 March 2000


Blessed Pedro Calungsod By Emy Loriega / The Pacific Voice

The Hagiography Circle: 1672, No. 2: "PEDRO CALUNGSOD". Cite: born: ca. 1654 in Ginatilan, Cebu (Philippines). 





5 comments:

  1. so hindi pala totoo ang balita po Fr.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Nathaniel-Hindi po totoo ang rumors. We continue to pray for the cause of his canonization.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am looking for permission to use the images of Blessed Pedro attached to this blog post. Liguori Publications, an apostolate of the Redemptorists will be soon be publishing a book about notable teen saints, which includes a profile of Blessed Pedro. Can you give me any information about the images?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Miss, it is better to ask permission from the artist Rafael del Casal and the commissioned artists of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

    ReplyDelete
  5. UPDATE: Our dream for Beato Pedro's canonizzation is on the way. salamat po.

    ReplyDelete

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