MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod set on Sunday, October 21, will be “a day of great spiritual joy and national pride” to Filipinos, Malacañang said on Saturday.
In a statement, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Calungsod’s canonization as saint brings pride not only to Filipino Catholics “but for all those who call the Philippines their home, especially our countrymen in the Visayas and Mindanao.”
Vice President Jejomar Binay and Energy Secretary Rene Almendras are in Rome to lead the Philippine delegation.
Valte said they will be present in St. Peter's Square together with the senior prelates of the Philippine Catholic hierarchy and pilgrims to witness the canonization.
“We join the Catholic world on this day of solemn commemoration and celebration,” she said.
The Society of Jesus in Rome held the second triduum mass in honor of Calungsod at the Church of the Gesu in Rome on Friday.
The photos of Calungsod and of other soon to be saints are now on display at the St. Peter’s Square.
Thousands of Filipinos from all over the world have arrived in Rome to witness the historic event.
Calungsod was a mission worker for Jesuit priest Diego Luis de San Vitores, who was beatified in 1985.
Calungsod will be the second Filipino to be declared as a saint and will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI along with Franciscan nun Maria Anna Cope, French Jesuit Jacques Berthieu, German lay woman Maria Schaeffer, Italian priest Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Spanish nun Maria del Carmen and Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be named a saint.
They will bring to 44 the number of saints named by Pope Benedict XVI since the start of his pontificate in 2005. -- With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; ANC; Agence France-Presse