Binay leads PH delegation to canonization rites

Posted on October 20, 2012

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MANILA—Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, and former first lady and senator Loi Ejercito Estrada will lead the 5,000-strong pilgrims from the Philippines who will be attending the canonization rites at St. Peter’s Basilica, said Henrietta de Villa, secretary-general of the church commission preparing for Calungsod’s sainthood.

“We should all be proud, whether we’re Catholic or not, because we will now have a second Filipino saint. This is the reason why President Aquino also declared today as a National Day of Celebration in honor of Pedro Calungsud,” De Villa said.

Thirty-five Filipino prelates, led by retired Cardinal-Archbishops Ricardo Vidal of Cebu and Gaudencio Rosales will also be in attendance.

While President Aquino would not be present, De Villa said he and his sisters have promised to attend the Mass in Cebu on Nov. 30 which will cap the month-long celebrations across the country after the canonization.

“Pope Benedict XVI will bless a statue of Blessed Pedro during the canonization and it will return to the Philippines for a month-long pilgrimage across the nation,” De Villa said.

“Our bishops have also instructed all Catholic parishes across the country to hold appropriate celebrations today, simultaneous with the canonization in Rome,” she added.

According to the Vatican, the canonization rites will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Rome (3:30 p.m. Philippine time) with the singing of the Litany of the Saints, the Catholic prayer of invocation to God and the intercession of the saints.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will then thrice petition Pope Benedict XVI to enroll Calungsod and six others among the saints venerated by the Catholic Church.

The congregation will then sing the ancient latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, which dates back to the 9th century and is sung on special occasions like the election of popes and the coronation of kings.

And after the Pope formally declares Calungsod and the six others as saints, those present will then sing a Te Deum, the traditional Catholic hymn of thanskgiving that dates back to the 4th century.

Afterwards, Pope Benedict will then celebrate Holy Mass. According to the Vatican missalette, one of the Prayers of the Faithful during the Mass will be read in Cebuano.

The prayer “O God, source of all holiness, through the intercession of the holy virgins, preserve our young people in integrity and in thre joy of your friendship” will be read in Cebuano.

De Villa said the Church’s National Commission for Blessed Pedro Calungsod will hold its celebrations at the San Juan Arena.

She said a videowall would be erected so that those who cannot go to Rome could watch the canonization through a live telecast.

The celebrations at the San Juan Arena will begin with a Mass presided by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications & Mass Media of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“Afterwards, we will have a musical program for the youth and artist Jamie Rivera will sing the official song for Blessed Pedro’s canonization,” de Villa said. /INQUIRER

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