FILIPINOS are being urged to seek the intercession of soon-to-be saint Pedro Calungsod amid efforts to help the victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong.”
“Pray for his intercession, that we may be strengthened at this time of crisis. May his martyrdom for the faith inspire us Filipinos to serve others unconditionally,” said Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, media office director of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines in Manila.
He made the call a day after the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI approved the promulgation of a decree recognizing a miracle required by the Church for Calungsod’s canonization.
Calungsod was a teenage Visayan cathecist in the 17th century who was killed by natives of the Ladrones islands or present day Guam.
The Cebu Archdiocese is mobilizing public support for the upcoming event.
“He is a concrete model for us Cebuanos. Despite all the chaos, there is hope,” said Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, who oversees the Pedro Calungsod Shrine in D. Jakosalem Street.
Devotees are waiting for advice on the actual date of the canonization rites in Rome.
“The date may be set in spring or autumn,” said Leyson, based on previous celebrations.
Leyson was postulator or chief campaigner of the cause of the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in the lengthy Vatican process.
He said specific plans for the Archdiocese of Cebu will be set in motion after officials meet with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who is in Bantayan Island for the Misa de Gallo.
Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said among the fervent faithful who welcomed the Visayan martyr’s impending ascension to sainthood is a businesswoman from Leyte who recovered following Calungsod’s intercession.
“To be a saint with God’s grace is always possible, but it takes a long process,” said Vidal, who lobbied for Calungsod’s canonization.
Vidal said the woman, who was declared clinically dead after heart surgery before recovering in 2003, will attend the canonization rites in Rome.
The Vatican’s website announced that Calungsod along with six others from Italy, France, Spain, Germany and America would be elevated to sainthood.
Leyson said the miracle confirmed by the Pope is a “divine sign or supernatural sign” and will be announced through an official text in Latin by the Vatican.
“It is beyond human capacity and science to explain,” Leyson said.
“With the declaration, the Pope sanctioned the whole church to venerate Calungsod,” he said.
The Vatican will send a “libreto” or a script on a booklet which contains the biography of Calungsod.
The libreto will be sent to all c ardinals worldwide for them to reply whether they agree or not with the Pope’s promulgation.
“Usually they say yes if it is promulgated by the Pope,” he said.
After that stage, the Secretary of the State Office of Vatican would then set a date for the canonization.
Canonization comes from the root word “canon,” which refers to the official list of saints.
Calungsod will be the second Filipino saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz, but the first Visayan martyr to be canonized.
Like beatification, one miracle should be attributed to Calungsod’s intercession for him to be declared saint. The miracle can only be validated by the pope.
A group of medical experts, theologians and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints helped the pope decide Calungsod’s case. Inquirer with a report from Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc