‘What a wonderful gift to the youth of our land’


(Editor’s Note: Excerpts from the Reflections of Fr. C. G. Arevalo, S.J, from the booklet, “Pedro Calungsod: Young Visayan Proto Martyr,” edited by Sister Bernadita Dianzon and published by Paulines Publishing House)

What a wonderful gift to the youth of our land, at a time when our faith seeks to affirm the realities it believes in, in the face of the corrosion of unbelief which the spirit of the times (and its control of so much of media) surrounds us with, … what a wonderful gift to place before our eyes the figure of the 18-year-old Visayan youth, martyr of the faith! Pedro Calungsod lives: he inspires us not only as a hero from the past, but as one who stands before God to pray for our Filipino young people today. He speaks to today’s young people, who must face other times and other struggles, but who will find, like him, the final meanings of their lives in the faith they have been born to, and must now make truly their own, in obedience and love.

We pray that Pedro Calungsod may come alive for our young people, especially for our young men; that he may inspire them to “fill out their lives with faith” and make their lives, lives of witness to that faith: their faith in the meaning and power of the Cross and Resurrection in human history. The martyrs are a gift of God to us. On Oct. 16, 1998, the gift of life which Richie Fernando gave at Banteay Prieb [Cambodia] awakened not only in those of his own age, deep questioning of their own lives and their own faith. It questioned all the rest of us too, asking us what was the true meaning of our endeavors and our lives, asking us whether there was any truth to the words we sing at Mass:

Only this I ask,

but to love the Lord

and to bear his cross,

so to wear the crown he wore.

Pedro Calungsod’s canonization should be an hour of rejoicing and inspiration for the Church in our country, and a summons to authenticity and courage, a summons which his death at the dawn of manhood rings as a trumpet call in the depths of our hearts, there where our dreams lie, waiting to be reawakened, waiting to come true.

As we think of Pedro, perhaps imagine what he was like, recreate in our minds the scenes of his life, perhaps he will come to life in our imaginations, and in our hearts. Something like this has happened to me, I think, as I have tried to find out more about him and his Jesuit mentor, blessed Diego Luis de San Vítores. I think Pedro has much to give us all, not only in the Visayas, but in all of our land. Surely he prays for us and our country, because he must, in heaven, keep a love for this land from which he came, the land he gave up, to give his life for the spreading of the Gospel, finally to pour out his blood on the shores of another land, of another people, across the seas.

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  • NYPinoy

    whole mantra of San Pedro Calungsod as a model for youth sounds hollow
    to me.  What exactly did Calungsod said, did, or dreamed for that would
    inspire Filipino youth?  He departed his homeland and lived away from
    friends and family at a very young age of 12.  He worked in a hostile
    environment of Guam and died there after doing an unethical practice of
    baptizing a native child without the permission of the irate father. 

    Calungsod is so unknown that legends have to be created to fill the
    gaps.  A poor town in Cebu claimed to be his birthplace — with
    absolutely no proof whatsoever.  So, now we can imagine he growing up in
    a poor rural surrounding.  A professional basketball player, Ronald
    Tubid, modeled as him, so we can picture him as sporty and active.  A
    play is being staged in Cebu giving us a scene of him bidding farewell
    to his mom — all of which, of course, is just a product of the
    playwright’s imagination.

    We take a blank slate, draw on it anything and everything that is
    supposedly inspiring according to our taste, and call it Pedro
    Calungsod.  But other than the fact that he worked and died as a youngster, there is nothing from what he said or did that could guide our current youth.  We are deluding ourselves.  And we like it.


    • ApoNiLolo

      Well, if you’re endorsing a product, wouldn’t it be nice if it comes in a nice eye-catching package and the commercial ad made by a creative advertising firm? It’s not wether the product is good or bad that sells. It’s how you present it. Added bonus na lang ang quality ng produkto. >: D

    • UrHONOR

      AND his death was not voluntary….he was merely a collateral damage.  Sigurado ako, kung noon sa Pedro ay makakatakbo, kumaripas siya ng mabilis pa sa alas-kwatro!

    • Steven Zahl

      The church FOOLING the Filipinos since 1521.

  • http://www.ninoyandcory.gov.ph/ It’s No Time To Doubt Now

    We are indeed a blessed nation full of blessings:

    In 2010 — our beloved President PNoy ascended to power.
    In 2011 — our public enemy no. 1 GMA was finally pinned down by the neck and sent away.
    In 2012 — our public enemy no. 2 Corona was finally dethroned.
    In 2012 — our much awaited Visayan martyrs is finally canonized as San Pedro.

    Thank you God and thank you our dear leader PNoy for making so many good things happen.

    for bigger, better, brighter future:
    vote straight LP in 2013
    Ninoy 2.0 = Bam Aquino

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/DK65HLEOSAZBJBUL5TAHJ6P3D4 Hoo

      If I remember correctly, PNoy was trying very hard to get excommunicated. Something smells rotten, and it’s not the Church.

      • http://www.ninoyandcory.gov.ph/ It’s No Time To Doubt Now

        It’s the river behind the palace.


    My contribution to the marketing promotion of the Pedro’s image: May sakit sa puso, baga, o tiyan?  Magdasal kay Pedro at tiyak kayo’y malulunasan!

  • tra6Gpeche

    To emulate Pedro Calungsod will be to be subservient to the teachings of the Philippine Catholic Church. Philippines needs a Filipino youth that will use his brain to invent something that would be good for the Filipinos and the country, as well, if not for the world.

  • constantcrusader

    Daming haters. Why can’t you just be proud of him? All your silly comments just prove that you are woefully ignorant of the Church’s process of determining a saint, which is a very stringent procedure. On top of that scientists have to determine whether the miracle attributed to the saint is legit. 

    You haters will use anything to verbalize your hatred for the Church which stems out of your ignorance and pride. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/elmer.baguioro Elmer Baguioro

    Ignorance is bliss… and what’s hilariously pathetic is anger due to ignorance! lol. Suck it up, haters! lol

  • http://twitter.com/cholonunez cholo nunez

    What exactly Calungsod did? Pedro Calungsod died for my faith. A great call for every Christians. Martyrdom is dying to defend our faith.

  • http://twitter.com/cholonunez cholo nunez

    What exactly Calungsod did?  Pedro Calungsod died for my faith.  A great call for every Christians.  Martyrdom is dying to defend our faith.  

  • http://twitter.com/jaaraf Juvy Anne Agravante

    Soon-to-be-Saint Pedro Calungsod sacrificed himself for the faith. He is a fitting example for many of our youth who no longer know the meaning of sacrifice in their lives and are unable to cope with the realities and hardships of this world. 

  • TinTin Sison

    Deeds of Pedro:
    -at a young age, he choose to go out in a journey to evangelize people; to bring others to the true God. 
    -he served and stayed with an unknown race; he served the priest whom he was accompanying.
    -he died in order to protect others life; other people’s souls.

    Dear haters, if you can surpass all of these deeds, then feel free to correct us. But as far as your posts are concerned, I think you are not ready to do great sacrifices. People with hatred in their hearts (as shown by their posts) cannot really give authentic sacrifice.

    True heroism lies on what you can do for the life and souls of others.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

    If others have negative comments in this issue bacuse we are now in 21st century that knowledge was not hide this hypocracy and illusion, they just expression of reality. Its not matter of hater… its a matter of understanding. It depends to the parents how their children will grow-up. This is the problem of our society, people cant have and strength in faith without the intruduction of others.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Catholicism has no limit for Clergy and “Elites” profit, while coking the masses in their own ignorances fat.

  • Steven Zahl

    The church and its FAIRYTALES.

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