Apples Jalandoni and Niko Baua]

MANILA, MARCH 7, 2012 (PHILSTAR) The Blessed Pedro Calungsod is set to become the second Filipino saint on his canonization in October this year. While this is perceived as a feat for the Philippines, little is known about the young catechist and martyr who remained true to his Catholic faith until his death.

Tonight on ABS-CBN’s Patrol ng Pilipino, join Apples Jalandoni as she travels to Cebu City to visit the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod and trace the soon-to-be saint’s much-disputed origin and identity, his missionary work and death, and the miracles that qualified him for sainthood.

Former Cebu Archbishop Cardinal Vidal, who lobbied for Calungsod’s beatification, said that the martyr’s approaching canonization serves as an inspiration and a testimony to young people that holiness can be achieved at a young age. Calungsod was killed at 17 while on a missionary work in 1672.

Meanwhile, Niko Baua will heed the latest bar exam topnotchers’ take on the issues that currently taint the law profession, including hazing in fraternities and the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Patrol ng Pilipino airs after Bandila or watch it earlier on DZMM TeleRadyo (SkyCable Channel 26), 9:15 p.m.

Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s looks remain a mystery By Bernadette A. Parco Sunday, February 26, 2012


CEBU CITY -- No one really knows what Blessed Pedro Calungsod looked like, but the image chosen to represent him “is that of every man,” said a church official.

“Many people look like him,” said Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, who has worked on the cause of sainthood for the Visayan catechist for more than a decade.

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He told Sun.Star Cebu that he once overheard two boys who visited the Beato Pedro Calungsod Shrine telling each other that they looked like Visayan martyr.

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But there was also a person who approached him to ask whether the model of the image was a basketball player.

“He said he was not comfortable praying before the image of a basketball player,” said Leyson.


Choosing an image that best represents Calungsod, who will be declared a saint in October 2012, went through a process, and the facial features and build are based on descriptions found in old documents.

Leyson related there were several attempts by a few artists to translate these descriptions into painting and sculpture.

The official portrait is the image of the martyr as imagined by the painter Rafael Casal, made in 1999. The palm branch and the white vesture are symbols of the martyr’s triumph and joy.

That painting was used in the two versions of Leyson’s book, “Pedro Calonsor Bissaya: Prospects of a Teenage Filipino.”

“Our only sources of information about that boy are the documents on the martyrdom of Padre Diego,” Leyson said in his book.


The documents mention him as an indio bisaya or a pure native from the Visayas region of the Philippines.

“We do not know what he looked like. We do not know of any drawing or painting of him from his time,” said Leyson, who turned to Historia de las Islas e indios de Bisayas by Fr. Alcina.

“Alcina, who was a contemporary of Pedro Calungsod, described the male Visayan indios of his time as usually more corpulent, better built and somewhat taller than the Tagalogs in Luzon; that their skin was light brown in color; that their faces were usually round and of fine proportions; that their noses were flat; that their eyes and hair were black; that they, especially the youth, wore their hair a bit long; and that they already started to wear camisas (shirts) and calzones (knee breeches),” he added.

Calungsod was the teenaged 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.

The inside cover of Monsignor Leyson’s book acknowledges the image was based on the first account of the martyrdom of Pedro Calungsod, the manuscript of Francisco Solano, S.J.

The manuscript, which dates back to April 1672, was found in the archives of the Jesuits in Rome.

Casal’s painting also became the basis of the image of Pedro that was unfurled in one of the windows in Vatican City during his beatification in March 2000.


The painting was presented to Leyson during one of his trips to Manila while he was still doing research on the life of Calungsod.

“It was placed in one part of the room where I was staying but I did not know it was the one prepared by the Jesuits,” he said. He brought the painting with him to Cebu and left it with then Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

“In Rome, the Vatican asked for an official image,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

“I suggested to the Cardinal to hold a competition of artists, provide them with background information and give them the freedom to interpret the information,” said Leyson.

“But the Cardinal said there is already an image that would be used, the painting that I brought from Manila,” he added.

Leyson said there are persistent talks that the model for the image was a popular college basketball player. But he does not know who the model for the image was.

“We encourage the painter (Casal) to write a testimony about the painting that he made,” he added. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2012.

Pinoy saint named

[PHOTO -Beato Pedro Calungsod, Sacristan, Missionary, Catechist, and Martyr;
Born -c. 1655; Died - April 2, 1672 (aged 17-18) Tumon, Guam; Honored in Roman Catholic Church; Beatified - 5 March 2000, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Blessed Pope John Paul II; Major shrine - Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Archbishop's residence compound, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines; Feast - 2 April]

By Bernadette A. Parco, – 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.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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