MANILA, NOVEMBER 12, 2012 (MANILA STANDARD) By Joyce Pangco Panares - The Aquino administration said canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Vatican on Sunday is a source of “national pride” for all Filipinos.

“This is a day of great spiritual joy and national pride not only for Filipino Catholics, but for all those who call the Philippines their home, especially our countrymen in the Visayas and Mindanao,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

She said some officials of the government and leaders of the Catholic Church as well as throngs of pilgrims will be at St. Peter’s Square to witness the historic event.

“A delegation of officials, led by the Vice President and Secretary Rene Almendras, will be present in St. Peter’s Square together with the senior prelates of the Philippine Catholic hierarchy and a multitude of pilgrims to witness the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod who has been described as a protomartyr,” Valte said.

“Filipino Catholics recall well that it was under the reign of Pope John Paul II – a pontiff who held Filipinos very dear to his heart – and upon the initiation of His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, that the beatification for Calungsod was initiated in 1994 and culminating in his beatification in 2000,” she said.

“In 12 short years, the canonical requirements for his canonization has been fulfilled. We join the Catholic world on this day of solemn commemoration and celebration,” she added.

Born in the year 1654 in the Visayas island, Blessed Pedro Calungsod also known as Pedro Calonsor was born in the year 1654 and died on April 2, 1672.

He was a young Roman Catholic Filipino migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.

While in Guam, Calungsod preached Christianity to the Chamorro people through catechism, while baptizing both infants, children and adults at the risk of being persecuted and eventually murdered. Through Calungsod and San Vitores’ missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism.

Blessed Pedro Calungsod was formally beatified on March 5, 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On February 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced that Calungsod will be canonized on October 21.

President Benigno Aquino III earlier declared October 21 as a national day of celebration for Calungsod’s sainthood.

“The life and martyrdom of Blessed Calungsod shall serve as an inspiration to Filipinos, particularly the youth to live a life anchored on values and principles,” the President said.



Saint Pedro’s image back in Philippines – October 27, 2012

[PHOTO -Cardinal-designate Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle offers incense to the official image of Saint Pedro Calungsod during a Mass attended by around 2,000 faithful to welcome the statue of the second Filipino saint at Plaza Roma, located in front of the Manila Cathedral, Nov. 7, 2012. (RL/CBCPNews)]

MANILA— Despite heavy rains, Filipinos still gave a warm welcome as the official image of Saint Pedro Calungsod arrived in Manila Thursday.

Hundreds of people waving Calungsod and national flags welcomed the statue upon its arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 4 p.m. from Rome.

The three-foot tall wooden image of Calungsod was being carried by Fr. Charles Jayme, the official custodian of the statue.

The official pilgrim image was flown to the Vatican for the canonization of Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, last October 21.

From the airport, the image was brought via a motorcade to the University of Santo Tomas in España, Manila for an overnight stay at the UST’s Santisimo Rosario Parish Church.

The statue will then visit some dioceses in Metro Manila before it will visit other provinces in Northern Luzon down to the Bicol region.

From Luzon, the image will also visit different dioceses in Visayas and Mindanao.

On Nov. 27, the statue will be brought back to Cebu City from Bohol, the last stop of the “Duaw Nasud,” by sea in time for the Triduum Masses leading to the National Thanksgiving on Nov. 30.

Around a million bishops, priests, religious, government officials and pilgrims from different parts of the country are expected to participate in the event.

Patron saint of OFWs

Former Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Henrietta de Villa expressed that Calungsod will become the patron saint of all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

As a missionary, she said that the young Visayan martyr should not only serve as role model for the youth, but also of all Filipino migrants.

“We should not be confined to just welcoming our new saint. We should also pattern ourselves in the way Calungsod lived his life,” said De Villa of the National Commission for Calungsod’s canonization.

She also said that they will appeal on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to officially declare Calungsod as the patron saint of OFWs.

“We will write the CBCP and ask them to declare Saint Pedro Calungsod as patron saint of OFWs,” said De Villa. (RL/CBCPNews)



Visualizing Sanctity: SAN PEDRO CALUNGSOD by Thom Joven

Beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II, Calungsod was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City on 21 October 2012 together with 6 others: Jacques Berthieu, a Jesuit martyr-priest ,Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Maria Carmen Sallés, founder of the Conceptionists Missionary Sisters of Education; Marianne Cope, a religious who worked among lepers, Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American Saint and Anna Shaffer from Germany.

San Pedro Calungsod's most well-known representation is based on a portrait modelled by then 17 year old Ronald Tubid, a basketball player from Iloilo.

This same portrait became the basis for artist Rafael del Casal's artwork done in 1999 that was used as the official picture for the canonization rites in Rome. Del Casal's portrait is the first to feature a Christogram, the seal of the Society of Jesus with which San Pedro was associated.

Sculptors Francisco dela Victoria and Vicente Gulane (Cebu), Felix Baldemor (WATCH VIDEO) and Justino Cagayat Jr. ( Paete, Laguna), also created statues of Calungsod in 1997,1999 and 2012, respectively.

[Note: The following video and photo are added to Thom Joven's article by PHNO, site owner is also a full-blooded Paetenian]

[VIDEO -Felix "Kid" Baldemor is a well known artist who lives in Paete,laguna in the Philippines. Youngest brother of Mr.Fred Baldemor (famous sculptor,painter and artist) and cousin of Mr.Manuel Baldemor (international Artist) for more information about kid please visit]

[PHOTO -JUSTINO CAGAYAT, JR: Photo by RANEIL ANTONIO IBAY - In his Paete shop Justino Cagayat Jr. or Mang Paloy is a third generation woodcarver having learned to carve from his father at a young age. He now runs a branch of the family business specializing in religious statues. He’s also training his three sons to carve and hopefully become the next generation of Paete’s woodcarvers. Most images show the saint wearing a white camisa and trousers, with his characteristic palm, a rosary,a crucifix or a Doctrina Christiana book pressed to his breast. Text clip from BREAKINGNEWS. PH BLOG]

Pampanga's most accomplished ecclesiatical artist, Thom Joven of Bacolor has also been commissioned by Bishop Angel Lagdameo of Iloilo to execute his santo version of the teen martyr, following his approved iconography. Made by a local carver under his stringent supervision and personally painted using traditional encarnacion technique, San Pedro Calungsod stands all of four feet and bears a strikingly young, lifelike and saintly mien. He pensively looks at an open book of Christian doctrine, with another hand holding a palm branch in brass--his official attributes.

It is impeccable in its simplicity, and appropriately so, for the saint lived a life of austerity and hardship while catechizing in the Marianas. Just like San Lorenzo Ruiz, he is similarly attired in a camisa chino-daily wear for most Filipinos-and a pair of loose, hanging pants. Carved in the round, he is shown unshod, unlike other representations where the saint wears sandals.

[Photo -Tom Joven, the most accomplished ecclesiastical artist of Pampanga, has been at the forefront of major restoration projects for churches not only in his native Bacolor but also in other places of worship all over the Philippines. Joven's expertise has been sought by parishes from Luzon to the Visayas, and his original works are prized by the country's most formidable collectors of sacred art. A few rare creations in ivory have also been presented as gifts to high ranking church dignitaries from here and abroad. Here, he shares with us some fine examples of his restoration projects @ his blog site.]

Thom Joven is well-known in the santo circle as a leading figure in saving and restoring the altars, niches and wooden saints of San Guillermo Church in Bacolor, heavily damaged by the Pinatubo aftermath. He has likewise worked on the San Vicente de Zaragoza Church, also in his hometown. His prized works and restorations are in private collections and have even reached the Vatican--an image of of Nuestra Sra. de Guia, was chosen by then Pres. GMA and given to Pope Benedict XVI as a "Gift from the Filipino People". His interpretation of the likeness of San Pedro Calungsod is indeed, a most apt artistic tribute to one who now belongs to the pantheon of saints of the Catholic Church.

FEAST DAY: Celebrated every 2nd day of April, the anniversary of his martyrdom. If the date falls within Holy Week or Easter Week, the feast is observed on the Saturday that immediately precedes Passion/Palm Sunday. If April 2 falls on a Sunday of Lent or on a Sunday of Easter, the feast is celebrated on April 1.

PRAYER: Blessed Pedro Calungsod, young migrant, student, catechist, missionary, faithful, friend, and martyr, you inspire us by your fidelity in time of trial and adversity, by your courage in teaching the Faith in the midst of hostility and by your love in shedding your life’s blood for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus.

We beg you, make our cares and troubles your own [here mention the special intention you are asking him to bring to the Lord] and intercede for us before the throne of Mercy and Grace, so that as we experience the help of Heaven, we may be encouraged and strengthened to proclaim and live the Gospel here on earth. AMEN.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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