Pedro Calungsod Biography : Second Filipino Saint
The Filipinos are not only mirrors of gallantry, love and compassion. They are likely to be regarded as “genial breed of the Malayan Race” with a distinctive characteristic of nobility and the highest plane of spirituality. Yes, this article pays holy homage to the “Second Filipino Saint”, in the person of Pedro Calungsod. Who is this Filipino martyr? The humble Pedro Calungsod was a devout Catholic, who had served as a catechist. He suffered unbearable persecution which paved the way for him to become a martyr, while doing his selfless mission for God and mankind in Guam, sometime in 1672. This 2012, Pedro Calungsod will be officially proclaimed as a saint.
His Beatification, Intercession And Unconditional Love For Christ
On the 5th day of March 2000, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II, at the Saint Peter’s Square in Rome. In addition, the much deserved beatification had transpired when Pedro Calungsod had willingly surrendered himself to Christ and responded to the divine calling of the Almighty, without any reservation. As far as the intercessory mission of the second Filipino saint, he mainly intercedes for the youths around the world. According to the homily message of the late Pope John Paul II, our youths of today and of the future must emulate the prolific spiritual values of Calungsod.
Pedro Calungsod who loved the Lord Jesus so much had dedicated his colorful teenage years in teaching the Catholic faith as a catechist. To know more about inner depths of the soon to be “Second Filipino Saint”, let this spiritually and enlightening article, take you down to his remarkable past and how he fell in love with the grace of the Lord, during his challenging but blissful journey here on earth.
Pedro Calungsod: His Life And His Early Missionary Works
Pedro Calungsod was born in 1654, and was said to be a native of four quiet and prosperous villages, in the Visayan region namely: Ginatilan, Tuburan in the province of Cebu, Loboc in Cebu and Leon in Iloilo. Meanwhile, the ancestral family of Calungsod from Leon believed that an ancient ancestor of theirs had joined a group of Jesuit missionaries, who had generously labored on Hawaiian islands.
The life story of Calungsod had only a few details. However, no matter how scanty they were, they are still worth knowing, aren’t they? Some of the salient details of his holy life were:
- He went to Cebu to preach the Christian faith through the use of the Spanish missionary text, “Doctrina Christiana”, that was propagated by the Dominicans
- He studied in Loboc, a noted town of the Jesuits
- He went to Guam, after he had completed his studies
- His basic education was successfully completed in the exclusive boarding house for boys. From then on, he had learned to master with excellence, the skills of communication using two languages: Spanish and Chamorro
- Aside from being religious, he had also exhibited his other extraordinary talents in drawing, painting, acting, singing and carpentry
- His love for God and the characteristic of untainted and pure spirituality was very much evident, as he served the Holy Mass in accordance to the “Holy Rite of Tridentine”.
- In the year 1668, Pedro Calungsod along with the other Jesuit missionaries went to the Marianas Island, which was named after the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Regent Queen of Spain, Maria Ana Austria who acted as their voyager’s benefactor
His Death And Exemplary Martyrdom
A Chinese merchant had began spreading malicious rumors that the holy water used by Pedro Calungsod and his group were poisonous. Accidentally, some of the Chamorro eventually died, after they had received the Holy Sacrament of Baptism. Choco, the Chinese businessman who had spreaded the rumors were already supported by various kinds of people including the “medicine man” or mancajas, the young males or umitaos, who had blatantly hated the missionaries.
Despite of those negative publicities, Calungsod and San Vitores continued with their godly mission. They proceeded to baptize the baby daughter of Chief Mata’pang who had strongly declined the said holy sacrament. Calungsod’s call of death came when a group led by Mata’pang and Chief Hurao, made a hot pursuit plan that had led to the capture of Calungsod and San Vitores. Pedro Calungsod was killed by a spear, while his companion was finished off with a bolo. On the other hand, the merciless killers of Calungsod and San Vitores were not yet satisfied with what they did to the apostles of Christ, the demonic killers had stripped off the clothes of the two missionaries, and then butchered their holy bodies with a sword, tied them to big boulders of rocks and then the bodies of Calungsod and San Vitores were thrown in the deep blue sea.
The martyrdom of Pedro Calungsod had shown us a perfect example of FAITH, LOVE AND COURAGE in fulfillment of Christ’s commandments, without any question at all.