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Makarit! Wonderful!

Angelyn Tugado-Marzanby Angelyn Tugado-Marzan

“Wow, after San Lorenzo Ruiz, we’ll have another saint!” “Blessings will pour upon the Filipino people, not only in Cebu but around the world!” “What a great role model for the Filipino youth!” “He could inspire the lost and those faced with many temptations brought by the prevalence of social media to go back to the teachings and values of the church.” “As an overseas Filipino worker, I will pray to God, through our new Filipino saint, for strength, courage, patience and perseverance, especially when loneliness and difficult times set in.” “His canonization will put Cebu in the world map!” “Mabait at magaling talaga ang Pinoy kahit noong lumang panahon pa!”

Such reactions from Filipinos and Filipino Americans all referred to the upcoming canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod and six others on October 21, 2012 as decreed by Pope Benedict XVI last February 18th<D> at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome during a ceremony that formally elevated 22 Catholic churchmen from different countries into the elite College of Cardinals, including Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, 15th<D> Archbishop of Baltimore, the oldest diocese in the United States.

According to Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, postulator for the cause for Calungsod’s sainthood, the authorized miracle of Calungsod reportedly happened at a Cebu hospital in 2003 “when a woman who was clinically dead for two hours was allegedly brought back to life through the intercession of Calungsod.”

Although Calungsod’s hometown is claimed by four Visayan villages in Cebu, Bohol and Iloilo, Cardinal Vidal said Calungsod, the 18-year-old Filipino migrant, altar server, and missionary catechist (who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Spanish Jesuit priest, “suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672,”) will be known as ‘San Pedro de Cebu.’ “Calungsod was 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,” explained Cardinal Vidal, who, due to then Cardinal Jaime Sin’s poor health, was the only Filipino Cardinal who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Vidal had declared Calungsod as the Patron Saint of the Youth for the Archdiocese of Cebu.

“The Cardinal’s right! Calungsod can be a role model for my young son and his friends. Although he lived in the 17th century, his virtues need to be inculcated by the youth of today,” pondered Bernie Rankin, realtor and former producer of concerts by visiting singers from the Philippines.

“What a blessing and an honor to us Filipinos.  We could easily ask for the intercession of our two saints even in our native language!  With the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, there is new hope for those unanswered prayers to be interceded by him,” Angela Agnes Batac, a certified public accountant, excitedly declared.

“What an honor to the people of Cebu! Calungsod’s sainthood will surely put Cebu in the world map!” beamed Filipino American retired surgeon Dr. Archimedes Jao who, with his wife, Resurreccion “Roring” Jao, often participate in medical missions in Dr. Jao’s hometown in Cebu.

Noted flower arranger and businessman Fred Paras, a devout Catholic, pointed out that lay persons no doubt, could be saints, just like Calungsod and San Lorenzo Ruiz. That gives me hope!” Paras winked.

“Wow, I’m so happy to hear that another Filipino will be declared a saint by the Pope! In our church, we always pray to Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. After Calungsod is canonized, we would be able to pray to the two Filipino saints! It’s good more and more Filipinos are being recognized all over the world,” said Evelyn Bonito of San Leandro, California.

“Praise be to God! May he find many more good godly people to show the world how to be good and humble to God’s people, enthused Oscar Zuniga-Hernandez with his wife, Pinky.

“This is awesome! By the power of Jesus, and through Pedro Calungsod, Jesus performed another miracle using someone with a pure heart. Praise Jesus, our Lord!” Doug and Charette Hosford joyfully said.

“I’m not Catholic; nevertheless, I must say that I’m extremely elated to hear this great news! More power to the newly-anointed Saint Pedro Calungsod!” gushed Mitzi Pickard, President, Philippine Arts and Letters and Media (PALM).

Calungsod, who was beatified on March 5, 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II, is depicted as a young man wearing the Barong Tagalog (the Philippine national costume) and holding either a crucifix, catechism book or a Rosary. He will be canonized and join the pantheon of saints on October 21, 2012, the day that celebrates World Mission Sunday (a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church’s missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice).  “It gives us a reason for thanksgiving and joy. Let us give thanks to the Lord for giving us another Filipino saint. Calungsod is our intercessor and friend in heaven. He is a model for us to spread the faith.” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Serofia Palma, who’s also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

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