Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be canonized by the Pope
Filipino saint after St. Lorenzo Ruiz, when Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be canonized by the Pope.We shall have the second Filipino saint this year, on October 21, soon to be canonically known as ST PEDRO CALUNGSOD. Christians are no ordinary persons at all , when they are imbued with extraordinary faith, hope and love to God.
Pope Benedict XVI announced that the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod and six other religious men and women will be on October 21, 2012.
THE EVENTFUL STORY OF PEDRO CALUNGSOD
The most unforgettable assault happened on 2 April 1672, the Saturday just before the Passion Sunday of that year. At around seven o’clock in the morning, Pedro—by then, about 17 years old—and the superior of the mission, Padre Diego, came to the village of Tomhom, in the Island of Guam. There, they were told that a baby girl was recently born in the village, so they went to ask the child’s father, named Matapang, to bring out the infant for baptism. Matapang was a Christian and a friend of the missionaries, but having apostatized, he angrily refused to have his baby baptized.
To give Matapang some time to cool down, Padre Diego and Pedro gathered the children and some adults of the village at the nearby shore and started chanting with them the truths of the Catholic Faith. They invited Matapang to join them, but the apostate shouted back that he was angry with God and was already fed up with Christian teachings.
Determined to kill the missionaries, Matapang went away and tried to enlist in his cause another villager, named Hirao, who was not a Christian. At first, Hirao refused, mindful of the kindness of the missionaries towards the natives; but when Matapang branded him a coward, he got insulted and so, he consented. Meanwhile, during that brief absence of Matapang from his hut, Padre Diego and Pedro took the chance of baptizing the infant, with the consent of the Christian mother.
When Matapang learned of the baptism, he became even more furious. He violently hurled spears first at Pedro. The lad skirted the darting spears with remarkable dexterity. The witnesses said that Pedro had all the chances to escape because he was very agile, but he did not want to leave Padre Diego alone. Those who knew Pedro personally believed that he would have defeated his fierce aggressors and would have freed both himself and Padre Diego if only he had some weapons because he was a very valiant boy; but Padre Diego never allowed his companions to carry arms. Finally, Pedro got hit by a spear at the chest and he fell to the ground. Hirao immediately charged towards him and finished him off with a blow of a cutlass on the head. Padre Diego gave Pedro the sacramental absolution. After that, the assassins also killed Padre Diego.
Matapang took the crucifix of Padre Diego and pounded it with a stone while blaspheming God. Then, both assassins denuded the bodies of Pedro and Padre Diego, dragged them to the edge of the shore, tied large stones to their feet, brought them to sea and threw them into the deep. The remains of the martyrs were never to be found.
When the companion missionaries of Pedro learned of his death, they exclaimed, “Fortunate youth! How well rewarded his four years of persevering service to God in the difficult mission are: he has become the precursor of our superior, Padre Diego, in Heaven!” They remembered Pedro to be a boy with very good disposition, a virtuous catechist, a faithful assistant, and a good Catholic whose perseverance in the faith even to the point of martyrdom proved him to be a good soldier of Christ (cf. 2 Tim 2:3).