This coming Sunday, October 21, is a special day for us Catholics as this is the day that the seven blessed including our very own, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, will be canonized in Rome. He was declared ‘Blessed’ by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome last March 5, 2000. He is the second Filipino to be declared a saint. Plans for his canonization are underway with many Filipino devotees going on a pilgrimage to Rome to witness this important event.
Blessed Pedro Calungsod was born in the Visayan region during the 17th century. At aged 17, he bravely went on a mission of spreading the faith to the Chamoros in Ladrones Island in Guam. He was an assistant, catechist, and sacristan to Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores. Little is known about his life before the mission, but one thing is for sure, he devoted his young life teaching the faith until his death.
Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s canonization comes at an opportune time when we Catholics are deep into the celebration of the Year of Faith which began last October 11, 2012 and will culminate on November 24, 2013. During the Year of Faith, we are urged to study and reflect on the documents of the Vatican II and its catechism so that we may deepen our knowledge of the faith. It is a gentle reminder and encouragement for us to cultivate a deeper and more personal relationship with Christ.
We, especially the young, can surely learn from blessed Pedro Calungsod’s deep devotion of sharing and living the faith with courage and conviction everyday. Though we may not be able to equal nor surpass his greatness and blessedness, we can imitate the way he placed his complete trust and belief in the Lord. Hopefully, with our own display of faith in action everyday, we’ll be able to inspire others to do the same. For really, our responsibility as Catholics doesn’t end with receiving Christ in the Sacraments but also sharing Christ and the word of God to others as well.