CEBU CITY—Catholic Church officials are seeing a revival of faith in the nationwide tour of the image of St. Pedro Calungsod, saying that up to a million people have gone out into the streets to greet the likeness of the new Filipino saint everywhere it went.
The saint’s nationwide tour, which Church officials call “Duaw Nasud” (Visit the Country), also drew out stories of healing that reinforced belief in miracles, which is one of the drawing powers of Catholicism and other religions.
Fr. Marvin Mejia, who accompanied the image, cited one story of healing of a United States-based Filipino who was cured of cancer. His testimony was read during the image’s stay in the cathedral in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
The man attributed his healing to St. Pedro Calungsod.
In the cathedral in Bacolod City, volunteer Cheryl Andan cited the case of a woman who had been unable to tilt her head upward and walk without a cane and who was healed when Calungsod’s image passed in front of her.
Restored to health, the woman announced the miracle to her daughter and vowed to be present at the National Thanksgiving Mass for Calungsod on Friday here at South Road Properties.
The belief, or hope, for miracles also manifested itself in Maasin, Southern Leyte, where a sick woman who could barely move was accompanied by relatives just to get close to and touch the image of Calungsod.
According to volunteer Ruby Dy, who saw the manifestation of faith, the woman’s relatives wiped Calungsod’s image with a piece of cloth that they wiped on the woman afterwards.
The faithful came in busloads to greet Calungsod’s image. In many instances, people started to line up to touch the image in the evening and the queue kept growing until the morning of the next day, according to Fr. Mejia.
People in the streets waved handkerchiefs or lit the night with torches and candles as the image passed by.
At every church stop, top Church officials insisted on delivering homilies and celebrating Mass for Calungsod. Many bishops said it was God’s work that Calungsod was canonized in the Year of the Faith for the Catholic Church.
Fr. Charles Jayme, official custodian of the image that had been flown to Rome for the canonization rites, said Duaw Nasud had achieved its goal of promoting devotion to the Philippines’ second saint.
The rapid recovery of a woman from a coma that has been attributed to Calungsod had been key to his canonization.
The image was toured around 18 dioceses and archdioceses in Metro Manila and 18 in the Visayas and Mindanao, Jayme said. With a report from Carinne Asutilla, Inquirer Visayas