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Blessed Pedro Calungsod

Pedro Calungsod is the second Filipino to be beatified by the Holy Father. In 1981, Pope John Paul II beatified another Filipino martyr, Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, during his first visit to the Philippines. He canonized Lorenzo Ruiz in 1987.

Pedro Calungsod was fourteen years old when he left his home in the Visayas islands to assist the Jesuit priests who went to the Marianas Islands to propagate the Christian faith. Pedro was the faithful companion of Father Diego Luis de San Vitores. While traveling in Guam on April 2, 1672, the two were attacked by natives and killed. Pedro Calungsod was eighteen years old at the time.

Prayer to Blessed Pedro Calungsod

Almighty God,
by whose gift Blessed Pedro the Martyr witnessed to the Gospel,
even to the shedding of this blood:
grant, by his example and intercession,
that we too may live for you,
boldly, steadfastly, confessing your name
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

From the Homily of His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin
February 17, 2000
Manila Cathedral, Intramuros
On the Ocassion of the Centenary of the Nunciature

It is only fitting that I include in this homily a fervent act of thanksgiving to our Holy Father for the singular gift, given to the Church and to all the people of our country, in the coming beatification of the Visayan young martyr, Pedro Calungsod.

This great event will be held at St. Peter's plaza on Sunday, the fifth of March. For the history of Catholicism in our country, it will be a major event: a day to remember. It has extraordinary significance for the Filipino people, in this Year of Jubilee.

The world today focuses on stars: movie stars, showbiz stars, pop-music stars, basketball stars. Young people here and abroad avidly follow the lives, the romances, the concerts, of these "highly visible" people, - usually rather young people. We need to bring before the eyes of our youth the "true stars" of life: the "stars" of our faith. Youth who have faith in their hearts, or who long for "things of the spirit," young people with goodness and idealism within their souls, look for the "higher stars, the brighter stars" in the firmament of the true life, the life of God.

Pedro Calungsod's star will now shine brightly in our Philippine skies, - even in our Asian skies. In an age when faith is being eclipsed by materialism, consumerism, the call for instant gratification and excitement, Pedro Calungsod's death speaks of conviction, commitment, the gift of self, unto the end. In an age of shifting values, of rootlessness of mind and heart, Pedro Calungsod's mission and martyrdom speak of a life rooted in God's gift of faith and abiding hope.

Teenagers today tell us there is nothing left to live for, nothing left to die for. Pedro Calungsod tells them: "I was a teen-ager when I left home and loved ones, left security and ease, to labor for Christ, to undergo hardships for his Gospel, and on a distant beach in Guam, to lay down my life, loving Jesus, seeking only the glory of God."

Holy Father, you have called the Third Millennium "the Asian millennium." The millennium when we, Christians of Asia, Christians of the Philippines, must proclaim the name of Jesus to nearly four billion Asians who have not yet encountered Jesus.

Holy Father, in World Youth Day 1995 you flung this challenge above all to the youth of Asia, to the youth of the Philippines. From your lips we heard the cry, "Go forth, go and tell the world of God's love! Go, make Jesus shine, shine in every corner of our earth!" And now you have given us, not the challenge only, but the living symbol, the living young person who embodies this challenge for our youth: Pedro Calungsod, "bisayo," our new blessed, the "new star of our faith" who calls the young today to follow him, to give their all for Jesus. What a wonderful gift you give us, Holy Father! How grateful we are, to you, for this high point of the Jubilee Year.

Holy Father's Homily for Beatification of Pedro Calungsod and 43 Beati,
St. Peter's Square, Vatican, March 5, 2000.
Reflection on Pedro Calungsod by Archbishop Orlando Quevedo,
President of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines and Archbishop of Cotabato