Philippines celebrates second saint

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MANILA, October 21, 2012—Masses, vigils, processions, and musical events have been held across the country on Sunday to celebrate the canonization of the country’s second saint, Pedro Calungsod.

Thousands of faithful gathered at the Santo Niño de Tondo Parish Church in Manila to witness the canonization rites in the Vatican which shown to them via live video streaming.

As Pope Benedict XVI declared Calungsod as saint, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause as a tapestry of the Visayan martyr’s official canonization portrait was unveiled at the church’s loggia.

Mercy Pascual, a sidewalk vendor, said the life of Calungsod should serve as inspiration to all the Filipinos especially the poor.

“He is good a good example for all of us Catholics,” Pascual, 55, said in Tagalog.

In San Juan City, about 4,000 faithful also gathered at the San Juan Arena to watch the canonization shown live using a feed from EWTN.

Waving Philippine flaglets and a mini-flag bearing the face of the new saint, the crowd cheered when the pope called out the name of the second Filipino saint.

A 76-year old woman could not help but be emotional as she watched the canonization ceremony.

“It’s really a different feeling… making me proud to be a Filipino because we have a new saint,” said Norma Reyes.

It was the same for a youth delegate from the Santuario de Sto. Cristo Parish, in San Juan.

“This serves as a reminder and inspiration that each Filipino can make a huge difference in proclaiming our faith,” Monica Francia said.

President Benigno Aquino III has also declared October 21, a national day of celebration to honor Calungsod’s life and martyrdom.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez said that Calungsod’s sainthood only shows that Filipinos are capable of laying down their life for their faith as exemplified by the new saint.

Aside from Calungsod, also proclaimed saints were Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Blessed Maria Anna Cope, Blessed Jacques Berthieu, Blessed Maria Schaeffer, Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, and Blessed Maria del Carmen.

Several activities to celebrate the canonization of Calungsod were also held in Novaliches, Makati City, Malolos, Zambales, Pampanga, and Bacolod.

In Cebu province, a liturgical celebration and other activities were held in Ginatilan town, some 135 kilometers south of Cebu City, believed to be Calugsod’s birthplace.

Calungsod was doing missionary work in Guam in 1672 when he was killed at age 17 for his faith together with Blessed Diego San Luis Vitores. (RL/CBCPNews)


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