Jesus, motivation to prove Calungsod’s sainthood—Vidal

Posted on November 1, 2012


THE long road to the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod began with a challenge to prove his actual existence.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said he and the others who lobbied for Calungsod’s sainthood were confronted by questions regarding the Visayan martyr’s historical existence and the reasons for his martyrdom.

“Did he really exist? Because the Church does not beatify ghosts!” Vidal quoted authorities from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints when Calungsod’s case for sainthood was presented for the first time.

Vidal’s revelations were made public by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Work on Calungsod’s beatification started in 1986. Vidal said they have to prove that Calungsod was martyred due to his love for Jesus.

“Did he die for the priest or for Jesus?” said Vidal who reiterated one more question against Calungsod, a teenage Visayan lay catechist who went to the Marianas Island on an evangelical mission.

The cardinal said an expert advice from a psychologist who studied Calungsod declared that “On pain of imminent death, the motivation is always Jesus, not friendship.”

Calungsod and Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Jesuit priest, were killed by two angry natives who opposed the Catholic teachings on April 2, 1672.

Vidal said he was invited by Guam Archbishop Felixberto Flores, the first Chamorro bishop, to attend the beatification of Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores’ in 1985.

“Come, so you will know who your candidates are,” Vidal quoted Flores. From there, the cardinal learned about Calungsod who got martyred with the Jesuit priest. /Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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