Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blessed Pedro Calungsod... my big 'KUYA!'

(October 21, 2012: A year ago, I posted on my blog a special write-up about Blessed (SAINT) Pedro Calungsod. Up until now, this post is my most-read among all my posts on SB@B. I can feel that lots of people are carefully knowing Kuya Pedro more, and I am honored to share my piece of his life and holiness to the world. 

Now that Kuya Pedro will be hailed as a new Saint in our Church, I have written yet another special blogpost in his honor. You can read it here:


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who'd read and appreciated my last two posts. I've never been used to experiencing this kind of acclaim from the social spectrum, and I really feel honored with your comments and views regarding the Anti-RH Bill Rally and the fate of three OFWs in China yesterday. Again, thank you very much!

Well, I would put the limelight today to somebody who, though dead, had been the talk of the town, especially in FB, these past few days. According to the rumors, this guy would be receiving greater recognition from the Catholic Church. Though the people in Rome confirmed that this is just a petty hoax and the Church has given no statement on this, still the impact made about by this rumor has made him an instant star. People recognized him again as somebody who made the Filipinos proud through his martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel.

I'm referring to the present beatified Filipino of our times, and my personal Patron and Kuya, Blessed Pedro Calungsod. In his young stature, he offered his life for the evangelization of the Filipino people, especially those living then in Guam. Through his sacrifice of himself, the people of the Chamorros received greater light on the teachings of Jesus and of the Church. 

Let's better look into his life. I shall use this version from Wikipinas:

Pedro Calungsod
Pedro Calungsod (c. 1654 – 2 April 1672) is a Filipino Roman Catholic martyr. Calungsod was a lay assistant to the Spanish Jesuit missionaryDiego Luis de San Vitores, and both of them were killed by two Chamorro natives while propagating the Christian faith in the Marianas Islands (now Guam). On 5 March 2000, Calungsod became the second Filipino to be beatified by the late Pope John Paul II, the first being San Lorenzo Ruiz in 1981.

Calungsod was born in 1654, however, four Visayan villages claim to be his hometown: Ginatilan and Tuburan in Cebu, Loboc in Bohol, and Leon in Iloilo. An oral tradition of the Calunsod family from Leon asserts that “an ancient ancestor joined Jesuit missionaries working on an island 'near Hawai'.”

In a Jesuit boarding school for boys, Calungsod received his basic education, mastered the Catholic catechism, and learned to communicate in Spanish and Chamorro. He also honed his skills in drawing, painting, singing, acting, and carpentry. Calungsod exhibited notable aptitude when he served the Holy Mass according to the Tridentine Rite, which was only celebrated in Latin.

Calungsod, then 14, was among the young exemplary catechists and assistants chosen to accompany the Jesuits in their mission to convert the native Chamorros in the Ladrones Islands (Islas de los Ladrones or “Islands of Thieves”), which was later named Marianas (Las Islas de Mariana) around 1667 in honor of Queen Maria Ana of Austria who supported the mission.

Pedro Calungsor

In one account, another lay assistant to Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores was identified with the name Pedro Calungsor. He was a survivor of the 1638 Nuestra Señora de la Concepciónshipwreck off the coast of Saipan (the largest among the islands of Marianas) and resided in the islands for thirty years, where he had a wife and a daughter, who was the first Chamorro baptized.

Calungsor was said to have been de San Vitores's first assistant and translator when the Jesuit first came to the islands but Calungsor ran away. De San Vitores returned to the Philippines where he found a new assistant in the person of the young Pedro Calungsod.

On 15 June 1668, Calungsod and the Jesuit missionaries arrived in Marianas aboard a patache or supply boat named San Diego. The evangelists went on teaching Catholicism and baptizing families but encountered several setbacks such as the Chamorro beliefs, traditions, and way of living.

One impediment they had to deal with was the “Guma' Uritao” (men's houses), which the missionaries considered as an institutionalized prostitution. In these houses, adolescent boys were taught skills deemed they would need as men, such as canoe building, navigating, tool making, fishing, and sex, which was taught by women.

The missionaries ordered the destruction and burning of Guma' Uritaos, and established the Colegio de San Juan de Letran for boys and Escuela de Niñas for girls.

The evangelization efforts were not entirely welcomed pleasantly. A Chinese man named Choco, also shipwrecked in the Marianas two decades before the missionaries arrived, allegedly spread rumors that the baptismal waters and anointing oils caused the death of people. Choco ceded his claims and was baptized after a days-long public debate with de San Vitores. Before long, Choco apostatized from Catholicism.


The rumors remained and cost Calungsod his life. On 2 April 1672, Calungsod was with de San Vitores to perform baptisms in the village of Tomhom when a former Christian convert refused to have his infant daughter christened. The apostate was said to be the village chief Matap'ang, who enlisted the warrior Hirao to kill the Jesuit priest.

Since Calungsod was involved in the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, the two natives turned against him first. Although able-bodied, Calungsod merely dodged the attacks and chose not to fight back in obedience to the Christian teachings. Instead of running to save his life, Calungsod protected the priest and was hit in the chest by a spear. He was given absolution by de San Vitores before the Jesuit faced his own death. Their bodies were mutilated and thrown into the sea at Tomhom (now known as Tumon).


Calungsod's existence and martyrdom came to the knowledge of the Filipinos during de San Vitores's beatification in October 1985. Led by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal in 1994, the Archdiocese of Cebu commenced the formal process for the beatification of Calungsod. In 1997, the results of the initial process were approved by the Vatican Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. A positio or biography of Calungsod required by the Vatican was finished and approved in 1999.

Calungsod was venerated on 27 January 2000 and proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II on 2 April 2000. The date was also declared by the late pontiff as “Pedro Calungsod's Day."


In 2008, Cardinal Vidal expressed hope that Blessed Calungsod would soon be canonized. A beatified person can be proclaimed a saint only after miracles attributed to him / her are proven. In Calungsod's case, several people have sought his intercession and attested to the miracles that he manifested.

One instance was that of a young man whose bone cancer in the leg was said to have disappeared after he sought the intercession of Calungsod, on the advice of his parish priest and spiritual director.

A kidnap victim who appealed for his mediation was saved from being killed and was released by his captor when it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

The daughter of an inebriated widower who could not land himself a job prayed for Calungsod's intervention. After doing so, her father started to limit his drinking, found a good job and a new wife, and led a new life.

As of the date, the Local Church honors Blessed Pedro on April 2.

As for me, I became a witness to his beatification in 2000, through the TV airing of the Rites from the Vatican. Since then, I became interested in knowing him more. I remember when Friendster was still starting (in 2002 or 2003 perhaps), I use his picture as my profile pic until such time that I am already able to use my personal photo as the same.

The Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City
Nevertheless, he serves as my inspiration without me knowing it. His life, very near to mine, is one of total young service to the Church. I know certain things in the Liturgy at the young age of 20, and I'm also somebody who grew up in my parish community and in the academe as a future educator. Still, I am a frail being; I ask him nowadays for guidance in everything that I should do. 

I don't feel aloft in him, for he is young and Filipino like me. I entrust my life to him as my patron, and I pray to him that he may guide me in this life through the way of the Cross and to the Cross. I also consider him as my big Kuya, somebody who could understand me and accept me as a brother in the faith. I know that through his prayers and merits, and with the help of Mary, our Queen and Mother, I may be able to live and fight for my faith in my own personal terms, even to the point of death in the service of others.

Along with the many Filipinos who will celebrate his feast on April 02, I continue praying to him that he may intercede for me - and for us - to God. We especially pray that the Church considers him as a saint in the quickest possible time. We are not in a hurry though, but we know that through this step, the whole world would come to know better of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, a blessed pride of the Filipinos.

And so, altogether, let us pray to God and to Blessed Pedro Calungsod:

Almighty God,
by whose gift Blessed Pedro the Martyr witnessed to the Gospel,
even to the shedding of this blood:
grant, by his example and intercession,
that we too may live for you,
boldly, steadfastly, confessing your name
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Another prayer, asking God for Blessed Pedro's Canonization (we pray that it may be realized in the soonest time possible):

Blessed Pedro Calungsod,
Young migrant, student, catechist,
missionary, faithful friend, martyr,
you inspire us by your fidelity in times of adversity,
by your courage in teaching the faith in the midst of hostility,
and by your love in shedding your blood for the sake of the Gospel.
Make our troubles your own (here mention your request),
and intercede for us before the throne of Mercy and Grace
so that as we experience the help of heaven we may be encouraged
to proclaim and live the Gospel here on earth.

O God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, graciously grant the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, if it be for the greater glory of your Name and for the good our souls. 

Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be.

SirBitz.033111 ')


  1. Wow! very nice :)

  2. Anonymous5:01 PM

    i hope magkaron pa ng mga ganitong Pilipino sa ganitong panahon...

  3. Anonymous10:41 PM


  4. Anonymous1:51 AM

    sana maging isa na rin siyang ganap a danto ..

  5. Anonymous9:11 PM

    mabuhay si Beato Pedro Calungsod!!
    Mabuhay ang Kabataang Katoliko sa Pilipinas!!



  7. Anonymous11:44 PM

    is this a real image of Beato Pedro Calungsod? Cause Ive seen 2 different images... Thank you...

  8. Anonymous10:16 PM

    mabuhay ang katolikong pinoy,


  9. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Viva San pedro calungsod (Ed santollano)