100-day countdown to start; which sculpture for Pedro?By Ador Vincent S. Mayol
Cebu Daily News
A 100-day countdown starts tomorrow for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod as Cebu church leaders weigh which image to bring to Rome for the Oct. 21 rites that will declare him a saint.
Which statue best represents the teenage Visayan martyr who died in the 16th century without leaving any record of how he looked?
Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will select the “model statue.”
“One of the features that we look into is a face of a young man and a Filipino. The statue must be on the move like a cathecist, with white pants, and without shoes,” Vidal said during a press conference yesterday.
They want to make sure that the faithful can distinguish between Calungsod and San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.
“In many churches, they put images of both. We don’t want people to get confused,” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
The 100-day countdown starts on Saturday with a Mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City at 2:30 p.m.
A motorcade will follow from the basilica to the Fuente Osmeña rotunda where the countdown ceremony will be held.
LED television screens perched on poles at the rotunda will flash images of the countdown.
Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was canonized in 1987. His statue commonly portrays him, wearing a white barong Tagalog and black pants. Most of his images show Lorenzo clasp his hands while holding a rosary.
To provide a contrast, the Archdiocese of Cebu wants Calungsod to have white pants and hold palm leaves and the Doctrina Christiana or Book of Catechism.
“The idea of the countdown is to drum up the preparation, sustain the excitement of the people and really end up with a great memorable celebration during the canonization and the thanksgiving Mass.
“At the heart of all these preparations is really our desire that people will know more about Pedro Calungsod,” Palma said.
Expected to attend the 100-day countdown are Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
A simultaneous countdown will be made in Manila led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle.
“Even in Manila and other parts of the country, more and more people are asking about Pedro Calungsod,” said Palma.
After the Oct. 21 canonization rites in Rome, a national thanksgiving Mass will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City on Nov. 30.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier said he would attend. Cardinal Vidal has also invited Vice President Jejomar Binay to come to Cebu for this.
On Aug. 7 is the groundbreaking ceremony for the templete or small temple where the main altar will be placed in the SRP.
“Blessed Pedro reminds lay people that we can also become saints, we could also be involved in evangelization,” Palma said.
Calungsod’s painting which has been used in churches and during his 2000 beatification will remain as it was already approved by the Vatican, said Palma.
But they have to choose one Calungsod sculpture as a model image “that really captures the personality and virtues of Pedro Calungsod.”
He said another image of Calungsod in Manila will be brought to Cebu for Cardinal Vidal to evaluate.
Calungsod was among the first to serve on a Jesuit mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands in the Western Pacific, Marianas, on June 16, 1668.
On April 2, 1672, he and Fr. Diego were killed by two villagers in Tumhon, Guam, after baptizing some natives. /With a report from Correspondent Jessa Marie Agua