A saint with roots in the Visayas

Sun Star Cebu Yearbook - - TOP STORIES OF 2012 -

Twenty- five years af­ter San Lorenzo Ruiz was can­on­ized, the Vat­i­can de­clared a sec­ond saint from the Philip­pines, this time a young man who was be­lieved to have come from the Visayas. Yes, un­der Ro­man Catholic doc­trine, the new San Pe­dro Calung­sod in­ter­cedes for all who be­lieve and not just for the Visayan faith­ful. But re­gional con­nec­tions are hard to shed. And so, on Oct. 21, 2012, in ad­di­tion to the 80,000 who wit­nessed the can­on­iza­tion rites in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, thou­sands of oth­ers in Cebu and other cities in the Philip­pines gath­ered to watch the live tele­cast and to cel­e­brate. Stalls sold postal stamps with an im­age of Calung­sod or maps of his jour­ney as a mis­sion­ary. Masses, stage plays and pro­ces­sions gath­ered devo­tees, many of them young like the new mar­tyr. Lo­cal touches in Rome added to the Filipino con­tin­gents’ joy. There was a per­for­mance of the Man­daue Chil­dren and Youth Choir right be­fore the rites, and then the read­ing of one of the prayers of the faith­ful in Bisaya by the Ce­bubased ed­u­ca­tor Mary Rose Vil­la­castin- Maghuyop. A lit­tle over a month later, on Nov. 30, 2012, a crowd es­ti­mated at one mil­lion joined pro­ces­sions, a flu­vial pa­rade and a na­tional thanks­giv­ing mass at the South Road Prop­er­ties, in cel­e­bra­tion of, in Cebu Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Ri­cardo Car­di­nal Vi­dal’s words, “a life nipped in the bud, but now in full bloom.”

( SUN. STAR FOTO/ AMPER CAMPAÑA)

PE­DRO’S LIKE­NESS. Ven­dors along D. Jakos­alem St. in Cebu City, near the Basil­ica del Sto. Niño, sell hun­dreds of im­ages of San Pe­dro Calung­sod. Although there are no sur­viv­ing il­lus­tra­tions or im­ages of the teenaged mar­tyr, who was killed in 1672, artists com­mis­sioned by the church pre­pared the of­fi­cial im­age based on de­scrip­tions of “male Visayan in­dios of his time.”

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