Pope to canonize Visayan teen as 2nd Pinoy saint

Posted on December 20, 2011


The soon-to-be second Filipino saint, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, in an artistic rendition

An 18-year-old lay catechist and martyr from the Visayas, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, will soon become the second Filipino saint after the Pope authorized his canonization on Tuesday.

Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Calungsod along with six others on an unspecified date, the Vatican Information Service said in a statement.

Martyred in Guam for his missionary work in 1672, Calungsod is seen as a model for catechists and missionaries.

The Philippines received its first saint in 1987 after Pope John Paul II canonized Lorenzo Ruiz, another lay missionary who was martyred in Japan in 1637.

The canonization of persons like Calungsod is significant for a Church that needs more saints from among the lay, as Jesuit writer Fr. James Martin said in an opinion piece. “While Catholics recognize that the canonized saint needs to have lived a life of ‘heroic sanctity,’ many long for more saints they can hope to emulate in their daily lives,” Martin explained.

With effective catechesis through schools and mass media, the Visayan teenager’s sainthood could also remind the Filipino youth of living Christian values.

For Catholics, saints do not serve as “other” Gods but as heroes or models of holiness, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity in God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors,” the Catechism says.

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