MANILA, Philippines -- The declaration of sainthood of Blessed Pedro Calungsod spells a new tool for the church’s evangelization.
In a report from the CBCP News, Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason said she is already seeing a “multiplier effect” of the news of Calungsod’s canonization among Filipinos.
She cited, for example, the high enthusiasm among all Filipinos in Italy and around the world.
The same report quoted George Cardinal Pell of Sydney, Australia that “having a saint from one’s own country, shows that you don’t have to be from a banished millennium or from a world that has disappeared to be a heroic follower of Christ.”
He said canonizations boost faith-building in countries where the saint comes from. He said the canonization “inspires and encourages local people to follow [the saints’] footsteps.”
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has been at odds with the government over several national issues.
Representatives from the Filipino community, led by Vice President Jejomar Binay, are now in Rome to witness the canonization.
Based on Proclamation No. 481 released as early as October 1, Malacanang declared October 21 as a national day of celebration on the occasion of Calungsod’s canonization.
The proclamation dictates that “the honor and recognition to be given to Blessed Pedro Calungsod on the occasion of his canonization, as the second Filipino saint on 21 October 2012, shall instill national pride in the hearts of Filipinos worldwide.”
It added that the event "shall encourage Filipinos, particularly the youth to get involved in public and civic affairs; and…the life and martyrdom of Blessed Calungsod shall serve as an inspiration to Filipinos, particularly the youth, to live a life anchored on values and principles."