MANILA, Philippines -- Filipinos are seeking for divine intercession and miracles from Blessed Pedro Calungsod, who will be named a saint in canonization rites in Rome today.
They pray that their sicknesses will be healed amid their growing faith in Christianity, putting into their lives the inspiration of Calungsod, who will be the country’s second saint after Saint Lorenzo Ruiz.
Retired lawyer Lufe Ibero came all the way to Rome from Iloilo to witness the canonization of Calungsod and six others. Ibero, who suffered a stroke in 2004 and is now using a crutch, came with some 100 devotees from Iloilo.
Dance teacher Gizel Ramos is also in Rome, hoping that her condition will get better after undergoing a life-threatening operation in her knee.
During a solemn vigil on the last night before the canonization of Calungsod, Ramos said her prayers will help her get through the ordeal.
In a vigil at the Basilica di Santa Pudenziana, a documentary was also shown to the public on the life of Calungsod. The documentary also described how a comatose patient recovered due to the doctor’s belief in Calungsod.
Cotabato Bishop Orlando Quevedo, who is also in Rome for the triduum masses, described the overseas Filipino workers as the new Pedro Calungsods because of their help in spreading the Catholic faith in other countries.
Calungsod was killed in Guam in 1672 for not turning his back against the Catholic faith. He also did not leave behind the Jesuit priest, Father Diego Luis San Vitores, despite threats to their lives.
Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason agreed with Quevedo. She said the OFWs are not just agents in boosting the country’s economy but are also faith healers.
In a separate statement, Vice President Jejomar Binay said: “Today, in various places around the world, 12 million of our people face daily challenges as they provide for their loved ones at home. I pray that like our first saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz who was martyred as a migrant, the heroism of St. Pedro Calungsod will inspire Filipinos working overseas as they face their challenges. I hope that his life will serve as a model not only for our youth but our fellow Filipinos abroad, as their patron saint.”
Binay is leading the Filipino contingent in Rome.
“As a nation and as a people, we are embarking on a journey towards a better future. The challenges are many, yet with unity, courage and faith in the Almighty, I am extremely confident that we will rise above these challenges. Let us continue praying for ourselves, our loved ones, and our nation,” he said. – from a report by Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau Chief