NEWS of the impending canonization of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod became a source of inspiration for Cebu’s Catholic faithful.
Jonah Entera, a 34-year-old caretaker of the Shrine of Biato Pedro Calungsod along D. Jakosalem Street in Cebu City, said the Visayan youth martyr’s life had inspired him in his six years of service in the sanctuary.
“I’m hoping young people will strive to be good and avoid evil. May they learn how to fear the Lord,” said Entera.
He was happy to learn that Calungsod may become the Philippines’ second saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz.
“We’ve been waiting for quite some time for his canonization,” Entera said.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints “unanimously” decided to endorse Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s canonization to Pope Benedict XVI.
Canonization is the “concession of public worship in the Universal Church.”
The Holy See Press Office declared that “pontifical infallibility is involved” in declaring a person a saint.
In serving the Blessed Calungsod’s shrine, Entera said he learned to pray the rosary daily and be closer to God.
“I’m inspired by Blessed Pedro,” said Entera, a father of a 5-year-old boy.
He said he is praying that the Lord, through the intercession of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, would grant his family good health and blessed future.
Merlito Cabigas, who had been serving in the youth ministry of St. Francis of Assisi in Naga City for 15 years, said the Cebuano youth would have someone to look up to in Calungsod.
“Even if he’s already in heaven, he thinks like us and speaks our language. There would always be a sense of pride because he is from here,” Cabigas said.
He said their ministry would hold an annual novena to ask for Calungsod’s canonization after his beatification in March 5, 2000.
Cabigas said he committed his service in the youth ministry to Calungsod, the patron saint of the Youth of the Cebu Archdiocese.
For her part, 25-year-old Krishna Jacalan, youth coordinator for the Commission on Youth in the Cebu Archdiocese, said Calungsod’s canonization would motivate young Cebuanos to do more in serving the Church.
“We specially need a role model now because we are faced with many temptations,” Jacalan said.
She said Calungsod’s impending admission to sainthood coincides with the celebration of the Year of the Youth worldwide.
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 in the Western Pacific, Marianas, on June 16, 1668.
Trained by the Jesuits, Calungsod mastered catechism and learned how to read, write and deliver discourses in Visayan, Spanish and Chamorro.
On April 2, 1672, he and Fr. Diego were speared with a cutlass by two villagers in Tumhon, Guam, for catechizing and baptizing the natives.