VATICAN City, Oct 22, 2012?Despite no available official crowd estimates for the Filipino pilgrims present at the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod, it can be safely said that there were more Filipinos in St. Peter’s Square yesterday than any other nationality.
Daniela Petroff of the Associated Press said, most of the hordes of people who attended the canonization rites yesterday were Filipino.
According to Petroff, a ballpark figure of 12,000 could be pegged for the number of people gathered for the canonization yesterday of seven new saints coming from various countries like the US, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.
She added that the large Filipino delegation could be attributed to the large attendance of Filipino OFWs in Italy.
There are an estimated 131, 000 Filipinos currently living in Italy.
In an interview, Ambassador Mercedes Tuason said she believed as well that most of the attendees at yesterday’s canonization were Filipinos.
According to Tuason, the Italian Embassy in the Philippines issued 4,000 visas for Filipino pilgrims living in the country.
One thousand pilgrims also flew in from Paris, France alone.
She pegged the Filipino crowd at the canonization to be at least 7,000 people.
In a previous interview with Fr. Jan Limchua, a member of the Rome Commission for the canonization, a large Filipino delegation from the US also attended the event.
Even with these figures, it is still difficult to approximate the number of Filipinos living in nearby European countries and even from the Middle East who were at the Vatican yesterday to witness the event.
Yesterday, the Philippines received its second saint, St. Pedro Calungsod in a brief yet solemn ceremonies presided by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz/CBCPNews]