Mandaue resident to head to Rome for rites

Posted on October 11, 2012


by Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter


SHE never dreamed it was possible.

But 74-year-old Chari Gerinea could only thank Divine Providence for the money given to her by a friend to buy a roundtrip ticket to Rome, Italy for the Oct. 21 canonization of Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

“It’s a provision from the Lord. It’s unbelievable. I don’t have enough budget. (But) God arranges everything,” Gerinea told Cebu Daily News.

Gerinea, a mother of three children and resident of barangay Guizo, Mandaue City, got her visa last July 31.

All she needs is to pay 110 euros or about P5,700 for her daily accommodation in a Franciscan convent in Rome.

She said she doesn’t want to miss Calungsod’s canonization as she credited him for several answered prayers.

Gerinea will leave for Rome on Oct. 16 with her daughter and son-in-law.

“I’m very excited. My purpose of going to Rome is to praise and thank God for recognizing Pedro as a saint. My desire is really for Pedro to intercede to the Lord that I will be given his youth so that I can continue to serve the Lord,” she said.

Gerinea calls Calungsod “dodong (boy).” “I consider myself his (Blessed Pedro) grandmother. We should take refuge in him because he knows how to speak Bisaya, our language. We should be proud ,” she said.

Gerinea, an executive committee member of the Blessed Pedro Shrine in Cebu City, said one should emulate the virtues lived by Calungsod.

“Calungsod forgot about himself. Whatever we do should be in accordance to God’s will. We will soon receive our reward, maybe not in this lifetime. How beautiful it is to live a Christian way of life,” she said.

Over a thousand people from Cebu are expected to travel to Rome for the canonization rites, said Cebu Archdiocese spokesman Msgr. Achilles Dakay.

Dakay, who heads the committee on pilgrims to Rome, said a group of 10 priests, 10 nuns, and six catechists are being sponsored by the Archdiocese and they need not pay for their travel or visa fees.

Dakay said among those ready to travel to Rome is Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who finished processing visa requirements.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she won’t attend the canonization rites due to a hold departure order against her.

Garcia and seven other Capitol officials face charges before the Sandiganbayan in relation to the Capitol’s purchase of the Balili property in barangay Tina-an, Naga City.

Though she could ask for a leave, Governor Garcia said she decided to stay especially since it is also her eldest child’s birthday on Oct. 21.

“Still I would look for a way to express my solidarity for the canonization of Calungsod,” Garcia said.

Binghay said they are reminding pilgrims that they need to return to the Philippines after the canonization.

As part of visa requirements of the embassy, pilgrims have to submit financial statements and other documents to show they have the capacity to travel abroad and return to the country.

Second, as a condition of the Archdiocese, they need a certification from their parish priest to vouch that they are Catholics.

Dakay said priests should be held responsible for their return.

He said applicants should also undergo a catechism lecture on the the life of Calungsod.

The rites will be aired live through the Eternal Word Television Network and the Cebu Catholic Television Network.

A national  Thanksgiving Mass will also be held at the South Reclamation Project in Cebu City on Nov. 30.

Last Friday, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma left for Rome to attend the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops from Oct. 7 to 28.

He will stay there also for the canonization rites of Blessed Pedro on Oct. 21/.With a report from Contributor Joy Cherry Quito

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