Beato Pedro flies to Rome today

Posted on October 16, 2012

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The image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod leaves the Archbishop's residence for a short distance at the Pedro Calungsod shrine and at dawn to the Metropolitan Cathedral

Devotees will send off the official image of Pedro Calungsod who heads for Rome today on a Cathay Pacific flight.

At 8 a.m., the statue encased in glass and decked with flowers will be brought by a motorcade from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to the Mactan Cebu International Airport, where it will wait inside the airport chapel until it’s time to board the flight at 12:30 p.m.

The three-foot image of a brown-skinned youth with wooden bakya sandals will be well packed in a styrofoam box and occupy a seat next to Fr. Charles Jayme, its custodian.

The CX 920 flight to Hong Kong will take 2 hours and 40 minutes. From there, it’s a long haul flight of more than 15 hours to the Fiumicino international airport in Rome, Italy, via London’s Heathrow airport.

Cathay Pacific is flying the image to Rome and back for free.

Two other carved images of Calungsod will be brought to Rome, said Henrietta de Villa, secretary general of the National Commission on the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

A smaller two-foot image will be given toPope Benedict XVI and another to the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, the school for Filipino priests in Rome.

Jayme said he considers his role as the official custodian of Calungsod’s image a blessing.

“To me, it’s a grace from God and a humbling experience. I was not expecting this. I consider this a challenge for me to live a life like Pedro, as a priest and a Catholic,” said Jayme who is the team leader of Duaw Nasud Visayas and Mindanao area.

The three-foot image will be used for the “Duaw Nasud” which will begin on Oct. 25 in Manila.

The official image, a new rendition of Calungsod by a wood carver in Paete, Laguna province, was chosen by Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

In line with Vidal’s instruction to show Calungsod as a youth in action, the image is that of young man stepping forward with his right foot to symbolizes his mission of moving from one place to another to spread the word of God.

Pedro holds a green palm, the symbol of martyrdom, and a catechism book the “Doctrina Cristiana” in his arms. He is dressed in black pants and a white long sleeved shirt like a camiso de chino.

The image will be brought first to the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome upon arrival.

Triduum Masses will also be made in Rome before the canonization rites that will be presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.

Around 5,000 pilgrims from different parts of the world will be part of the Filipino delegation to Rome.

Calungsod was killed in April 2, 1672 with Jesuit priest Fr. Diego de San Vitores by natives in the island of Tumhon, Marianas or present day Guam.

Calungsod will be canonized with six other saints from different countries on Oct. 21, which is celebrated as World Mission Sunday in the Vatican.

The Philippine delegation is led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Several Cebuano pilgrims have already left for Europe. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is leaving for Rome today to attend the canonization. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter

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