Latest Stories

Catholic Philippines celebrates new saint

An icon of Pedro Calungsod hangs from a stall at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Millions attended special Masses across the Catholic Philippines to celebrate the naming of the country’s second saint, a young missionary killed over 340 years ago. AP PHOTO/ALESSANDRA TARANTINO

MANILA, Philippines—Church bells pealed across the Catholic Philippines Sunday as millions attended special Masses to celebrate the naming of the country’s second saint, a young missionary killed over 340 years ago.

President Benigno Aquino declared Sunday a “national day of celebration” in Asia’s bastion of Catholicism and sent his vice president, Jejomar Binay, to lead a big congregation to the rites in the Vatican.

In the capital Manila people from all walks of life congregated at the Sto. Nño de Tondo parish to watch the ceremonies naming Pedro Calungsod as one of seven new saints in the Catholic faith.

“The canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod is a major and historic event for the Catholic Church and our predominantly Catholic nation,” Binay said in a statement from Rome.

“The event fills us with pride as Catholics, yet it calls on us to exercise humility and reflect on the supreme sacrifice made by Saint Calungsod in defence of his faith.”

Thousands from all walks of life holding small replicas of Calungsod, many of them teary-eyed, trooped to at least three different venues in Manila where the government had set up giant screens on which to show the solemn proceedings in Rome.

As Pope Benedict XVI read the names of the seven new saints, church bells across the Philippine rang out for a few minutes to welcome Calungsod’s sainthood.

“I am filled with joy. We now have two saints to intercede for our many problems,” said Nanang Linda Petra, a 54-year-old mother of 12, who took a day off from her work as a laundry woman to watch the ceremonies.

Leony Mercado, a 65-year-old retired engineer and a grandmother of five, openly wept as Calungsod’s name was called out.

“These are tears of joy. I cannot help but be overwhelmed,” she said, adding that when one of her children, a 35-year-old woman, died due to an aneurysm in January, prayers to Calungsod helped to ease her suffering.

“I have asked Saint Pedro Calungsod to help bring her to heaven,” she said, while clutching a small banner with a likeness of the saint.

Calungsod is only the second Filipino to become a saint, after Lorenzo Ruiz, a missionary who was killed in Japan in 1637 and canonised in 1987.

Six others were also canonized Sunday, including Kateri Tekakwitha, the first native American to become a saint.

Calungsod is the new patron saint for the youth, in recognition of his age – believed to be just 17 – when he was killed in Guam in 1672 while attempting to convert natives.

He qualified for sainthood last year after the Vatican officially recognized a 2003 “miracle” in which a 49-year-old Filipina woman declared dead from a heart attack was revived after a doctor prayed to Calungsod for help.

In 2011, the Vatican said the incident could not be explained scientifically, and Pope Benedict subsequently acknowledged the incident as a miracle by Calungsod.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Philippines , Religion , Saint , Vatican , Youth

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Cebu has hair of John Paul II and piece of John XXIII’s skin
  • LTRFB denies Victory Liner appeal
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • Marketplace