Latest Stories

Calungsod near sainthood

Cardinals endorse Visayan youth martyr to pope

By ,

The country’s first Visayan martyr may soon become its second saint after St.  Lorenzo Ruiz.

This developed after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints “unanimously”  decided to endorse Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s canonization to Pope Benedict  XVI.

It’s now up to the Pope to evaluate the recommendation of the cardinals, particularly the authenticity  of a miracle, which is a requirement for the formal declaration of sainthood.

“The (congregation) has no further questions,” said Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, a key lobbyist for the slain teenage catechist  in the lengthy process of sainthood in the Catholic Church.

“Only the Holy Father can declare if there is a miracle (made through  Calungsod’s intercession or not). We are hoping that Blessed Pedro Calungsod  will become a saint,” said Leyson, who is  vice postulator of the cause of  Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

Text messages of the advance of Calungsod’s case circulated  widely yesterday among  devotees, including one in Italian.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma confirmed the report in a text message to CDN.

So did Fr. Mhar Balili, a Cebu diocesan priest who is in Rome studying for a Licentiate in Liturgy in the Pontifico San’t Anselmo.

“It’s been approved by the cardinals but not yet by the pope. The cause (for canonization) has to be forwarded to the pope. We still continue to pray,” said Fr. Balili.

Fr.  Leyson likewise said the pope would  have the final word and that the  decision may come late this year or early next year.

The approval itself would have to be made in a Mass traditionally held in St. Peter’s Square where the pope would issue  a document or “bull of canonization” that would recognize Calungsod as worthy of public worship in the entire Catholic Church.

Calungsod’s status was also mentioned in the Facebook fanpage of Cardinal Vidal.  It read:  “Il VATICANO – afirmativea vota dal tutti cardinali e dal santo padere per la canonizatione del beao Pedro Calungsod. We now have our second Filipino Saint.”

Many devotees look forward to seeing  Calungsod, who is held up as a role model for youngsters,  canonized and joining  fellow Filipino Lorenzo Ruiz among the Church’s pantheon of saints. It took six years before Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, the first Filipino saint, was elevated to sainthood.

Ruiz and 15 companions were beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II on  February 18, 1981. He was canonized six years after. Calungsod was beatified last March 5, 2005, in Rome.

Calungsod, a teenager from the Visayas, was among the first to serve on a mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands, now known as Guam, in the  Western Pacific, Marianas, on June 16, 1668.

Trained by the Jesuits, Calungsod mastered catechism and learned how to  read, write, and speak  in Visayan, Spanish and Chamorro.

Some natives in the island resented the work of missionaries, who faced physical danger in their day-to-day activities.

On April 2, 1672, Pedro and Fr. Diego were speared with a cutlass by two villagers in Tumhon, Guam, for catechizing and baptizing the natives. One of the killers was the father of the baby they baptized against his will.

A Chinese quack doctor named Choco had started rumors that the baptismal water used by the missionaries was poisonous after some sickly infants who were baptized died.

The  bodies of Calungsod and the priest were thrown into the sea.

Little is known of Calungosd other than his mention in documents of Fr. De San Vitores, a Spanish priest.

Like beatification, a miracle should be attributed to the intercession of Calungsod for him to be declared a saint. The miracle can only be declared valid by the pope.

Fr.  Leyson said accounts of possible miracles attributed to Calungsod  were scrutinized by  a group of experts including medical doctors.

Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the postulator for the cause for Calungsod’s sainthood, earlier revealed that he submitted a case to the Vatican about a  female patient in a Cebu hospital in 2003 who suffered cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead. The woman returned to life after her family prayed through Calungsod’s intercession.

The cardinal refused to reveal the woman’s name, saying only that she is working in Cebu. The cause for sainthood was passed on to a group of theologians who verified that the possible miracle was made through Calungsod’s intercession.

The group then endorsed it to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The congregation recently voted unanimously and passed on Calungsod’s cause to Pope Benedict XVI.

“Only the Holy Father can declare if there is miracle or not. The three groups that conducted the investigation before him can’t force the Holy Father to canonize Calungsod,” Leyson said.

Leyson said the group of medical experts, theologians and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints helped the Holy Father in deciding on Calungsod’s cause.

He declined to talk about the possible miracles attributed to Calungsod.

“If the process is over, we will talk about it,” Leyson said. Calungsod’s  feast day is celebrated every April 2.

Msgr. Arthur Navales, chairman on the Commission on Youth, said Calungsod’s canonization would make a difference among the Cebuano youth.

“This time, our youth needs a role model. It shows that despite the struggles of the youth, you can be blessed and become a saint if you just show your faith,” he said.

Calungsod was declared the Patron Saint of Youth for the Archdiocese of Cebu by Vidal because “his virtues (need to be inculcated) to be the mind and the heart of the youth.”

Navales said the youth needed to be guided back by the teachings and values of the church since they are faced with many temptations brought by the prevalence of social media.

“His experience in Guam may be from a different time and situation but he overcame the challenges and expressed faith, belief and loyalty to the Lord,” he said.

Navales said they will celebrate Calungsod’s beatification through the blessing of the youth center on the side of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Nov. 12.

The two-story building will offer courses like Tourism and Hotel and Restaurant Management and will also house various formation activities.

For his part, Ginatilan Mayor Antonio Singco said he is proud that Blessed Pedro Calungsod will now become a saint.

In a phone interview, Singco said while there is no documentary proof that Calungsod came from their town, he is still proud that he will soon be canonized. “We feel proud. We admit him as the son of the town,” he said.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia welcomed the developments.

“It is truly a distinct honor for Cebu and a great blessing for all Cebuanos,” said Garcia in a text message.

She said it’s best for Cebuanos to honor Calungsod “by keeping the faith and recognize God’s indispensable presence in each of our lives. /With reports from Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus and Dale G. Israel

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: Blessed Pedro Calungsod , canonization , Pedro Calungsod , Religions , sainthood

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZDWT46ZRHZRJPI7UASWJMXMGKE Alen

    so, now can i declare that we are morally, socially, economically, politically and all ally’s better than any countries becaue of the newly minted saints in Philippines? or just a horseshit and waste of candles and prayerbooks,giving those so called morons a false hope?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6GQ752PZJPHPSBIG53P53TGF7Y Nelson

      You don’t need any religion, you are god yourself…

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. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  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. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • 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
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace