Bishop Palma to youth: Emulate Filipino saint Pedro Calungsod
CEBU CITY — Be like Pedro.
This was the challenge of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to thousands of young people who gathered in Cebu City for the National Youth Day (NYD).
In a message he delivered at the Cebu City Sports Center on Wednesday, the prelate said San Pedro Calungsod, a martyr from the Visayas, is a perfect example for the youth.
“Be examples of the Christian faith and emulate the life of Filipino saint Pedro Calungsod who is the patron saint of the Filipino youth,” he said.
The weeklong activities of the NYD officially started on Wednesday with a religious and cultural presentation geared towards telling the story of how Christianity began in the Philippines.
As of Wednesday night, the NYD listed 11,690 young delegates from different dioceses, parishes and church organizations in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
The organizers said they were expecting more pilgrims to arrive on Thursday.
Palma said some of the delegates came from earthquake stricken-areas and that he was grateful that these young people managed to attend the event despite the strong tremor.
This year’s NYD carries the theme “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Before Palma delivered his speech, he arrived at the Cebu City Center on board a motorcycle driven by another person.
The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia of Italy, will join the young pilgrims for Saturday’s main event which includes a Pilgrim Walk, Eucharistic Adoration, Grand Festival Night Hudyaka, Youth Jam, and camp out at the Cebu City Sports Complex oval.
The opening program at the Cebu City Sports Complex on Wednesday was capped with Sinulog dances by different groups.
The pilgrims then joined a procession towards the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino. The procession featured carrozas of San Pedro Calungsod, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph, and the Santo Nino de Cebu.
After the Holy Mass at the Basilica, the young pilgrims danced the traditional Sinulog which was led by the different bishops who carried the image of the Holy Child in a two-step forward and one-step backward motion.
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