Vatican canonization of 2nd Filipino saint set for Oct. 21

Blessed Pedro Calungsod, a martyr at 17

A Visayan teenager who traveled with Jesuit missionaries from 1668 to 1672 to the North Pacific Ocean to preach Catholicism is the second Filipino saint to be canonized. The young catechist, Pedro Calungsod, then 17, died while on a mission to “evangelize” the natives in those islands. According to a website dedicated to Calungsod, the boy and the Jesuit priest who trained him were killed by two natives as they defended their Christian faith. On October 21, he will be canonized and officially proclaimed a saint at the Vatican.

A beatification ceremony for Calungsod was held in Cebu in 2000, and a shrine consecrated in his honor two years later.

In New York, a Holy Mass of thanksgiving will be offered for him on November 4 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the only Catholic place of worship for Filipinos in New York, is inviting youths and organizations to participate in the event. The chapel has recently held novena masses in preparation for Calungsod’s sainthood, said Oliver Oliveros, a spokesman for the chapel. A delegation from the chapel will travel to Rome for the canonization rites. The special mass will be held at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral at 2 p.m. to accommodate more people who are coming from the Tri-State area. “The chapel in downtown Manhattan can only accommodate around 250 people,” Oliveros told The FilAm.

Martyr Pedro Calungsod is a “role model for young Filipinos,” said Jessica Abejar, youth coordinator for the thanksgiving Mass.

Youth groups and various organizations may engage in the following activities during and after the Mass:

• Participate in the opening procession: Participants may carry banners or wear t-shirts representing their organizations.
• Join the choir: Participants may sing or play instruments in the choir; the group will rehearse on the morning of the mass at the Philippine Consulate.
• Offer toys and canned goods: The donated items will be distributed to charity projects in New York and in the Philippines.
• Nominate youths for the San Pedro Calungsod Leadership Awards: Organizations are encouraged to nominate youngsters who have made a significant impact in their communities. The awardees will be presented during the mass, and will be appointed as ambassadors for the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
• Attend the post-mass get-together: Participants, who may introduce themselves via special presentations or cultural performances, are invited to attend an after-mass get-together at the Philippine Consulate’s Kalayaan Hall.

For more information, call 212-925-2428, or email Visit named after the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, who was killed in Japan during the widespread persecution of Christians in the 17th Century.

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