Cebu city shrine draws devotees, out-of-town visitors

Posted on October 21, 2012

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Blessed Pedro Calungsod shrine at the Archbishop’s residence in Cebu City is flocked by thousands of devoteess. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

DEVOTEES from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were represented in the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City yesterday.

The Mass ended about 3 p.m. just before the start of the canonization rites in the Vatican.

At the shrine, some tourists from Manila expressed delight over the timing. They had booked a package tour last March not aware that today’s trip coincides with the canonization.

“We had no idea that our schedule fell on the canonization. We didn’t expect to join the celebration in Cebu. We feel very blessed,” Lolita Bonilla said.

Two devotees, 90-year-old Pascuala Teves, and 80-year-old Fortunata Espina came in wheelchairs, and shared lunch with relatives after the Mass just outside the shrine.

Espina, a Cebuana, said the young martyr has a special place in her heart because like the missionary, she too went to Guam formerly known as the Marianas.

“I’ve always been a devotee because he is famous in Guam. I think the people there knew about him ahead of Filipinos here,” Espina said.

She stayed in Guam from 1985 to 2006 till she came home to Cebu due to declining health.

Espina and Teves attended three of the nine-day novena masses.

Asked what she prayed for Espina she paused to hold back tears and said she asked for good health and more years for her life.

In a covered court in the the Archbishop’s compound, a wide video screen was set up to show the live broadcast of the three-hour canonization rites i Rome.

Applause broke out every time Calungsod’s name was mentioned.

A procession followed around the compound with the image of Pedro Calungsod, now asaint. The night sky ligthed up with five minutes of fireworks to cap the celebration. /Correspondent Jessa J. Agua

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