ROME, Italy, Dec. 29, 2012—The Pope has blessed a wooden sculpture of St. Pedro Calungsod made by Presidential Merit Awardee Willy Layug of Pampanga here last month.
The Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) said the Holy Father conferred the blessing last November 26 as it posted a photo of the bas relief sculpture via its Twitter account @pcfroma.
The image of the second Filipino saint was carved in a pinewood that fell within the PCF compound last January, according to the PCF Twitter post made yesterday.
The PCF also posted a photo of the new retablo of its Chapel via Twitter. The retablo was also a work of Layug as a donation to the PCF and was installed last October 22 in a liturgical celebration presided over by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
The retablo depicts the martyrdom of Filipino saints Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila and Calungsod of Cebu.
The “new retablo awes cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, and lay; (a) Philippine religious art showcase in Europe,” the PCF said.
In an earlier interview with CBCPNews, Layug said he wanted the retablo to be a visual feast of uniquely Filipino elements and materials like bamboo, pinewood and gold leaf.
“Even the angels wear Filipino costumes,” Layug said, describing an angel with very Filipino features in the retablo, garbed in the traditional baro’t saya.
The Pampanga ecclesiastical artist said he felt the desire to donate the retablo as a way to give back to the Church for patronizing his works, more than earning the prestige from the project.
Layug is reportedly making another bas-relief sculpture of St. Pedro, which will most likely be given to the Holy Father as a gift. (KB/CBCPNews)