Vatican approves Visayan’s sainthood

An 18-year-old Visayan martyr, Pedro Calungsod, is considered a model for the youth

YOUTH MODEL. Blessed Pedro Calungsod, seen in this artist's rendition, is considered a model for the youth.

MANILA, Philippines – Following over a decade of close examination, the Vatican on Saturday, February 18, announced that Visayan teenager Pedro Calungsod will become the second Filipino saint after cardinals voted for his canonization.

Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Calungsod, along with 6 others, on October 21.

Calungsod, whose sainthood was pushed by the Archdiocese of Cebu, was around 18 years old when he was martyred in Guam on April 2, 1627. He died alongside Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Jesuit missionary, after locals persecuted them due to alleged poisoning they caused through the baptism ritual.

Blessed Pope John Paul II beatified Calungsod in 2000, recognizing him as worthy of local veneration after a first miracle was attributed to his intercession.

Calungsod stepped closer to sainthood after the Vatican verified a second miracle attributed to him. He will then be recognized for universal veneration after his canonization.

Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, saints do not deserve worship, which is only for God.

“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.

Youth model

Calungsod is seen as a model for catechists and missionaries, as well as the youth.

“Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist,” said John Paul II during Calungsod’s beatification.

The late Pope said Calungsod became a “good soldier of Christ” when he preferred to die at San Vitores’ side.

“Today Blessed Pedro Calungsod intercedes for the young, in particular, those of his native Philippines, and he challenges them. Young friends, do not hesitate to follow the example of Pedro, who ‘pleased God and was loved by him’ and who, having come to perfection in so short a time, lived a full life,” said John Paul II. 

Once canonized, Calungsod will become the second Filipino saint after Lorenzo Ruiz, also a martyr in the 1600s, who became a saint in 1987. –

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