Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oct. 21, 2012 Canonization of Blessed Calungsod

Vatican set to canonize Blessed Pedro Calungsod as Philippines’ second Catholic saint

Cebu : Philippines | Feb 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM PST
VIEWS: 240
1 of 19
Blessed Pedro Calungsod
The Vatican in Rome announced his canonization on Oct. 21 together with six others.  The Archdiocese of Cebu, where the archbishop emeritus, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal is, handles the preparations of Calungsod's canonization.  (Photo courtesy of images mitrasites)
Add your media to this report: Images | Videos Cell phones use report code: @11557848
Blessed Pedro Calungsod 2nd Filipino Saint
CEBU CITY— Following the approval by Pope Benedict XVI of the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the Vatican announced his official date of canonization on October 21. Born in Molo, Iloilo in 1655 and martyred as a young missionary catechist at the age of 17 on April 2, 1672 in Guam, Blessed Pedro Calungsod reaps the honor of being the country’s second Catholic saint, after Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Lorenzo Ruiz in Vatican City on October 18, 1987.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at St. Peter’s Basilica Angelo Cardinal Amato echoed the pope’s announcement after a formal ceremony in which 22 bishops from around the world were elevated to the rank of cardinal.
Besides Calungsod, six others will be canonized on October 21. They are 1) Jacques Berthieu, a French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits); 2) Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord; 3) Maria del Carmen, a Spanish founder of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; 4) Maria Anna Cope, a German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse; 5) Kateri Tekakwitha, an American laywoman, and 6) Anna Schaffer, a German laywoman.
A lay catechist, Calungsod died at 17 in Guam while trying to defend his fellow mission worker, Jesuit priest and now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, when 2 native chiefs Matapang and Hirao killed them with bone-tip spear and machete on April 2, 1672.
The Vatican officially set April 2 as Calungsod’s feast day.
The Archdiocese of Cebu where the archbishop emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal is, handles the preparations for Calungsod's canonization.
On March 5, 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Calungsod along with 43 other martyrs in ceremonies held at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
The major miracle attributed to the Blessed Pedro Calungsod was his waking up of a Cebu businesswoman who was dead for 2 hours without suffering brain damage. Doctors attested it was medically unexplainable. Report said this miracle was recognized by the Vatican.
Source: inquirer news

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blessed Calungsod died a martyr of his faith

Blessed Pedro Calungsod
Pedro Calungsod is a Filipino.  He saw the first light of day in Molo, Iloilo City circa 1655.  He went to Cebu and was tutored by the Spanish Jesuit missionaries as a catechist, then studied also under the Jesuit in the town of Loboc, Bohol before joining the evangelization movement in Guam. He could read, write and speak the local Visayan dialect, Spanish and Chamorro.

Together with fellow boy catechists of his age, Calungsod sailed to the Ladrones Islands in the western Pacific in 1668 with some Spanish missionaries from the Philippines led by Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores to convert the Chamorros to the Catholic faith.

The missionaries experienced severe hardships in the Ladrones.  Thick jungles and stiff cliffs barred their ways.  Devastating storms and bad weather frequented the islands.  What problem pestered them most was their food supply and other missionary provision which failed to come at expected time.

Despite the difficulties, the missionary team persevered; their Mission counted with plenty of converts.  By this time the missionaries earned remarkable milestone by renaming the Ladrones Islands to “Marianas” in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Queen Regent of Spain Maria Ana who shouldered the Mission.

Converts had their children baptized by the missionaries and some of the baptized Chamorro infants especially those that were weak and sickly died.  Choco- a Chinese quack- saw in this a chance to improve his trade.  Envious of the remarkable gain that the missionaries were reaping among the native Chamorros, Choco began to spread rumor that the baptismal water contained poison thus the death of some infants.

Choco convinced many of the newly Chamorro converts who quickly renounced their faith.  Choco’s evil campaign was supported by the sorcerers called Macanjas and young male prostitutes call Urritaos who, in connivance with the apostates, started the move of persecuting the missionaries.
The killing of Padre Diego

April 2, 1672- a Saturday immediately before the Passion Sunday of that year- is an indelible assault day perpetrated against the missionaries.  Calungsod then about 17 years of age and the mission superior Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores visited Tomhom (now Tumon a main tourist district)  a village in Guam to baptize a newly born baby girl.  The baby girl was Mata’pang’s child.  Mata’pang was the Chamorro chief of Tomhom. They asked Mata’pang for permission and to bring out the baby.  But Mata’pang though a Christian friend of the missionaries, angrily refused to have his baby baptized.  Mata’pang became Choco’s convert and had already renounced his newly found Catholic faith.

Mata’pang was afforded time to cool down.  At the shore nearby Padre Diego and Calungsod treated the children and some adults with religious songs and hymns.  Mata’pang- when invited to join the group- only shouted that he was already fed up with God and the Christian teachings.

Chief Mata’pang hatched a sinister plan to kill the missionaries.  He went to a non-Christian village Chief Hirao to help him implement his evil motive.  Chief Hirao, fully aware of the kindness and humane treatment of the missionaries towards the natives, refused assistance.  Mata’pang belittled Hirao’s person by calling him a coward. Hirao didn’t like being branded a coward so he gave Matapang his consent.

While Mata’pang was away enlisting the help of Hirao, Padre Diego and Calungsod took advantage of baptizing Mata’pang’s baby girl with the permission of the Christian mother.

Mata’pang got mad upon learning of the baptism of his child.  Furious, he aimed a spear in the direction of Calungsod but swiftly darted away from the on-coming deadly weapon.  Calungsod who was agile and in the prime of youth, said authoritative witnesses, could have overcome their aggressors if he was armed but Padre Diego never consented to have his companions bring weapons. Finally, a bone-tip spear found its mark in Calungsod’s chest.  The brave boy fell to the ground where Hirao came brandishing and finishing him off with a blow of his home-made machete in the head.  Padre Diego administered to the fallen sacristan and catechist the sacramental absolution.  The assassins were not contented killing Calungsod, they likewise speared Padre Diego and hacked him to death with the machete.
Guam today

The crime took place near the ocean.  The tale of the murder was handed from generation to generation told of the ocean turning red on that fateful day.

Mata’pang took hold of Padre Diego’s crucifix and smashed it to pieces while uttering unholy words against God.  Mata’pang and Hirao took the clothes off their victims and with large stones tied to them, dumped them into the sea.  The remains of the martyrs, it is said, were never recovered.

Josephine Darang of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, in her article “Blessed Pedro Calungsod a candidate for canonization …” bore witness to the truth that the body of Pedro Calungsod was thrown into the sea as told to her by Cathedral Rector of Pasig Fr. Roy Rosales.

Pope John Paul II beatified Pedro Calungsod on March 5, 2000 at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.  It is believed Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores’ beatification in 1985 paved the way for Pedro Calungsod to be given the same honor.

The postulator of the cause for making Pedro Calungsod the 2nd Filipino saint-to-be is Fr. Fernando Rojo, OSA.  The major miracle attributed to the Blessed Pedro Calungsod was his waking up of a woman who had been pronounced dead for 2 hours without suffering brain damage.  Doctors attested it was medically unexplainable.  This miracle was submitted to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints to be approved during a meeting of Cardinals by February 2012 and if the meeting turned fruitful, Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be canonized that year.