‘Pedro’ arrives in Rome, Triduum Masses beginBy Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News
SEVERAL Cebu priests yesterday greeted the arrival of the official image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod at the Pontifico Collegio Filippino, the school for Filipino priests in Rome.
The velvet-lined box was carried into the chapel by Fr. Charles Jayme and another pilgrim from Cebu, who got off a full tour bus.
“We had a very solemn and simple welcoming of the image here. His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal headed the welcoming,” said Jayme, official custodian of the image in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
The three-foot solid wood carving of Calungsod arrived in Rome at 7:30 a.m. yesterday (1:30 p.m. Philippine time) in a styrofoam box that was strapped in a passenger seat of a Cathay Pacific flight full of pilgrims from Cebu and other parts of the Philippines.
Among those in the school lobby who welcomed the image were Fr. Joseph de Aquino and Msgr. Dennis Villarojo who flew in days earlier with Vidal, aside from Fr. Mhar Balili who is based in Rome for studies on liturgy.
The three days leading to the Oct. 21 canonization of Calungsod, a 17th century mission helper who was killed in present-day Guam, are celebrated in a triduum or series of three Holy Masses starting today until Saturday in Rome.
The Masses, which will have choirs from Cebu and Cagayan Valley singing in the liturgical rites, are part of the spiritual preparations for the faithful in the runup to the canonization in St. Peter’s Square.
A deeper understand of the celebration is important, said Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, caretaker of the Calungsod shrine in Cebu in an earlier briefing.
“Bear in mind that our main concern is how each of us will profit from the canonization. This is about our sanctification—that everyone who will witness the canonization would also become saints,” said Leyson, who heads the Rome Commission of the preparations for the historic event.
On Thursday, the first Mass will be held at the Basilica di Sant’ Agostino or the Basilica of St. Augustine with the theme “Knowing Our Catholic Faith”, presided by Palo, Leyte Archbishop John Du. Leyte Archbishop Precioso Cantillas will be the preacher.
On Friday, the Mass will be held at the Chiesa del Gesu or the Church of Gesu, the principal church of the Jesuits with the theme” “Living our Catholic Faith.”
Panay Archbishop Angel Lagdameo will be the presider while Kabankalan, Negros Archbishop Patricio Buzon will deliver the homily.
On Saturday, the 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major will be presided by Archbishop Emeritus of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales with the theme “Proclaiming our Catholic Faith”. The preacher is Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo. The University of the Visayas Chorale will sing.
Later at 8 p.m., a vigil which will be led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle at the Church of Sta. Pudenziana, the church frequented by the Filipino community in Rome.
Personal testimonies about Calungsod will be shared, and a film about the life and death of the Visayan martyr will be shown. The Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus will sing.
The triduum Masses will be spoken in English although Tagalog, Ilocano, Illongo, Waray, and Cebuano will be used during the Prayers of the Faithful.
On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI will lead the canonization rites and Mass at St. Peter’s Square in Rome at 9:30 a.m. (4:30 p.m. Philippine time).
It will be covered live by cable TV stations of Eternal Word Television Network and the Cebu Catholic Television Network.
At 6 p.m. on the same day, solemn vespers or the chanting of liturgical hymns will be made with the theme “Dying for the Catholic Faith”.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will preside at the Church of Sta. Pudenziana where a procession will also be held.
On Monday, a thanksgiving Mass inside St. Peter’s Basilica will be celebrated by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu. Agaña, Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron will deliver the homily. The Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus will sing during the vespers on Sunday evening and the thanksgiving Mass.