This Sunday Pope Benedict XVI will canonize seven new saints, one
of whom is Blessed Pedro Calungsod, a teenage catechist from the Philippines
who was martyred in 17th-centry Guam. In an effort to spread the word about
their country’s newest saintthe second Filipino to be canonized by the Churchthe
New Media Committee for the Philippines’ Catholic Bishops’ Conference
distributed a limited number of 15-inch dolls, or
“mini-Pedros,” encouraging people to take pictures in the days leading up
to the canonization and post them on Facebook and Twitter.
Pedrito in St. Peter's Square ahead of this Sunday's canonization ceremony.
“Pedrito” met Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu,
Philippines, at the Pontifical Filipino College in Rome, and has been
photographed in many other locations all over the Eternal City, including the
Vatican Press Office, where he was pictured with his own tiny iPad.
Daughters of Immaculate Conception of Charity pose with Pedrito in Rome.
From the Catholic
News Service’s article on the soon-to-be-canonized teenage saint:
While little is known
about the life of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, his canonization brings to light the
role of the laity in the evangelization of the Pacific in the 17th century.
among the seven people to be declared saints by Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 21, came
to the Mariana Islands in 1668 and was one of a group of lay catechists who
assisted the Jesuit missionaries in their Pacific mission. …
A Filipino native
from the Visayas Islands, Calungsod was in his early teens when he arrived in
Guam with Jesuit Father Diego Luis de San Vitores. …
On April 2, 1672,
Calungsod was martyred alongside Father San Vitores after the Jesuit baptized
the infant daughter of Chamorro Chief Mata'pang. While Father San Vitores
baptized the girl in her mother's presence, it was without the consent of the
chief. After learning of the baptism, Mata'pang enlisted the assistance of
Chamorro warrior Hirao, and together they attacked and killed Father San
Vitores and Calungsod. Their deaths occurred on the Saturday before Passion
Today, a monument
depicting the baptism stands just off the coast of Tumon, Guam, near the site
where the two were martyred. …
cause represents the move by Pope John Paul to "raise up new models of
holiness for the people of our time," Father Hezel said. As a lay
catechist who died for the faith, Blessed Calungsod fit that model.
The canonization is also a reminder of the role of the laity and of the
Asia-Pacific people in the spreading of Catholicism in the Pacific islands, he