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Monday, June 4, 2012

Vatican exec: Blessed Pedro Calungsod a role model for OFWs

Blessed Pedro Calungsod, soon to become the second Filipino saint, is a role model that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) should emulate, an official of the Vatican said.

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People president Antonio Maria Cardinal Veglio said OFWs live missionary lives like Calungsod.

Veglio said it would be “an awesome gift to the Philippine Church” if OFWs would emulate Calungsod by embracing his simple spirituality, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.

By following Calungsod's example, OFWs would “carry the love of God to all the countries
and peoples of the world,” Veglio said at a meeting with Clarke Nebrao, one of the founders of +Big, a movement to promote Calungsod’s example, at the Palazzo San Calisto in Rome.

Calungsod, who will be canonized in October this year, was martyred in Guam on April
2, 1672.

He was one of the boy catechists who went with Spanish Jesuit missionaries from the Philippines to the Ladrones Islands in the western North Pacific Ocean in 1668 to evangelize the Chamorros.

On April 2, 1672, Calungsod was martyred with Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores when they were attacked after a baptismal ceremony.

Pinoy missionaries

Meanwhile, the CBCP noted that many Filipinos abroad are living missionary lives that closely mirror Calungsod’s.

One of them is Firmo Bargayo Jr., a Jesuit scholastic who has been serving in a community in Bantay Prieb, Cambodia for over a year now.

Bargayo said many Filipinos in Cambodia are helping “improve the lives of the people,” especially the marginalized and the poor.

Calungsod's canonization

The head of the CBCP is excited about the upcoming canonization of Pedro Calungsod as the Philippines’ second saint.

CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said canonization is not just an event but a fountain of grace because celebrations like this is a gift of faith.

“I am excited on the upcoming canonization of San Pedro Calungsod, it’s not only for the Visayan people, but for all of us Filipinos, that on October 2, Pedro Calungsod will be canonized together with six others,” he said in an article posted on the CBCP news site.

Palma invited all Filipinos to participate in the canonization process on October 21, which will be held in Rome; and on November 30 for the national thanksgiving Mass slated in Cebu.

“After the canonization in Rome, the image of San Pedro Calungsod will visit the country. His visit will start in Vigan, in the North down to the South, passing by Bicol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao,” he said. - VVP, GMA News

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