The Philippines will have its second saint in Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
Pope Benedict XVI recently approved the promulgation of decrees for the canonization of Calungsod, a young native of the Visayas region who was killed in the 16th century.
No date was announced yet by the Vatican for the canonization rites, which are traditionally held in St. Peter’s Square.
The Vatican’s website announced that Calungsod along with six others from Italy, France, Spain, Germany and America would be elevated to sainthood.
“This is the best Christmas gift,” said Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, chairman of the Commission on Worship of the Cebu Archdiocese.
“And we should reciprocate the gift by becoming like Pedro, selfless and faithful, devoted, generous, and a true friend,” Garcia said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
The miracle attributed to Calungsod happened in 2003.
A woman pronounced clinically dead for two hours after heart surgery was brought back to life through Calungsod’s intercession.
Calungsod will receive the same honor as Saint Lorenzo Ruiz who was a declared saint in 1987.
Like beatification, one miracle should be attributed to Calungsod’s intercession for him to be declared saint. The miracle can only be validated by the pope.
A group of medical experts, theologians and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints helped the pope decide Calungsod’s case.
Calungsod was declared the Patron Saint of Youth for the Archdiocese of Cebu by Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints “unanimously” decided to endorse Calungsod’s canonization to the pope.
A “bull of canonization” will issued by the Pope to recognize Calungsod as worthy of public worship in the entire Catholic Church.
The official announcement in Cebu will be made by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who is still in Bantayan for the Misa de Gallo. A press conference is scheduled on Friday.
Calungsod was beatified last March 5, 2005, in Rome. /By Ador Vincent Mayol and Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporters