MANILA, Oct. 25, 2012—The canonization of Pedro Calungsod on October 21, was a very special day to all Filipinos around the world particularly the young Pinoys who joined the country in welcoming the new Filipino saint.
In Manila, thousands of faithful and young people gathered at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish covered court to witness the canonization rites at the Vatican through live streaming.
Aside from Saint Pedro Calungsod, 33 other young saints were introduced to the audience during the program, to make them understand that holiness is not only for priests or religious but for everyone, especially the youth, according to Fr. Bobby Dela Cruz, an attached priest in the parish.
“Presenting the teen saints makes young people see that even a child or a teenager can be holy like Pedro. So in their generation today, they can still be holy and can be a saint,” dela Cruz said.
The crowd cheered and applauded as Pope Benedict XVI declared Calungsod and six other blesseds as saints, and the tapestry of the new saints including Pedro Calungsod, was unveiled at the Church’s veranda.
Sto. Niño Parish youth director Fr. Tirso Gliponeo, SOLT said in his homily during the culminating Mass that even in simple ways, the youth can be missionaries and can imitate Saint Pedro Calungsod as a model missionary.
“We must make Saint Pedro an example by imitating his ways like being happy, energetic, obedient, faithful and most of all, Godly and devotional,” Gliponeo said.
In Malolos, Bulacan
Almost 1,000 youth from different parishes, schools and organizations in the diocese of Malolos gathered at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center in Bulacan to celebrate the event.
The diocesan Pilgrimage of Faith was also launched during the event where the images of Saint Pedro Calungsod, Taize Cross and Immaculate Conception, the patron of the Diocese of Malolos were presented.
Saint Pedro’s image will visit the different Vicariates of the diocese until November 24 which aims to promote Calungsod’s sainthood as a role model to the young people of the diocese.
In Makati City
The member-organizations of the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO) celebrated the canonization rites of Saint Pedro Calungsod at the Savio Dome of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City.
Themed “Pedro at Ako: Faith that is shared. Life that is offered,” the event serveds as the celebration of Filipino youth in the sainthood of Saint Pedro Calungsod and to affirm the federation’s 22 years of presence in the country.
A re-enactment and an MTV on the life of Calungsod were shown to the young people, after which, they were given a formation session on St. Pedro Calungsod in relationship with the goals and aims of FNYO.
The youth were able to follow the canonization rites in Rome through live streaming.
Fr. Favie Faldas, SDB, newly inducted chaplain of the federation, led the launching of St. Pedro Calungsod as Patron of FNYO. The activity ended with a praise concert led by the YFC.
Citing the fact that there were no relics of Calungsod presented during the canonization rites, Faldas challenged the young people to be the relics of the saint.
He also explained that the theme “Pedro at Ako” means that a young person must become the extension of the missionary work of the saint in the present time.
Present during the event were the 21 member-organizations of FYNO: SYM-SDB & FMA, CFC-FFL, Chiro Youth Movement, CFC-YFC, SCAP, Franciscan Youth-Philippines (YouFra), Canossian Youth Movement (CYM), Christian Life Community of the Philippines (CLCP), Christ’s Youth in Action (CYA), Columbian Squires, CFC-Singles for Family and Life (CFC-SFL), CFC-Singles for Christ (CFC-SFC), Filipino Youth with a Mission (FYM), Filipino-Chinese Catholic Youth (FCCY), Focolare Movement-Youth for a United World, Institucion Teresiana-Youth (IT-Youth), Junior Catholic Women’s League (Junior CWL), Mary Help of Christians Crusade (MHCC), Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), Tarcisian Adorers and Youth for Mary and Christ (YMC).
Other youth celebrations
Meanwhile, more than 500 young people in the diocese of Novaliches gathered at the Good Shepherd Cathedral Covered Court on October 21 for the diocesan wide event Calungsod Youth Day.
Over in Cebu, hundreds of young people attended the Barkadahay ni Pedro Live event organized by the Commission on Youth of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, together with the City Government to celebrate the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod. (Jandel Posion with reports from Mark Vertido and Ryan Rayos)