After a month-long journey to Rome and around the Philippines, the official image of Pedro Calungsod returns to Cebu City today as the icon of a saint.
The homecoming may set off the same traffic snarls that crowds of devotees caused during its Oct. 16 motorcade sendoff to Rome.
From Pier 1, where the wooden sculpture will arrive from Bohol province, a motorcade will proceed to D. Jakosalem Street for a brief stopover in the Calungsod archdiocesan shrine.
At 4 p.m. the motorcade will proceed to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu in Guadalupe for an overnight vigil.
“There might be inconveniences with traffic. I’m asking motorists for their consideration,” said Msgr. Marnell Mejia, chairman of the committee on processions.
He asked people not to crowd the vehicle which carries the image.
“If you want to kiss the image, please go to the church. The Mass is the most important part of the celebration,” Mejia said.
Today begins the three day series of special Masses of Triduum leading up to the Nov. 30 national thanksgiving Mass at the South Road Properties.
The three-foot wooden sculpture of the second Filipino saint will leave the port of Getafi, Bohol at 11 a.m. via a Starcraft vessel.
It arrives at Pier 1 in Cebu City about 12 noon.
“I’ll have to carry the image,” said Fr. Charles Jame, official custodian of the image, who escorted the sculpture to Rome, Italy for the Oct. 21 canonization and the Duaw Nasud or a pilgrimage of thanksgiving around the Philippines.
At Pier 1, the image will be welcomed by devotees.
It will then be loaded on the back of a pickup truck and pass through downtown streets of Legaspi Extension, Magallanes Street and P. Burgos.
The image will stay a few hours in its homebase, the St. Pedro Calungsod Shrine along D. Jakosalem Steet, before heading to the Guadalupe church.
At 4 p.m., it will be brought in a motorcade to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu for the first mass of the Triduum or a series of three Holy Masses.
The first Triduum Mass at 6 p.m. will be celebrated by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Emilio Bataclan and attended by catechists from various parishes in Cebu.
Before the Mass, there will be the launching of “The Creed,” a catechetical module in enhancing Christian values.
Tomorrow, the teenage saint’s image will be brought to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral where a second Triduum Mass will be officated by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes.
On Thursday, the image will be brought to SM Seaside City in the South Road Properties for the dedication of a new Chapel of St. Pedro Calungsod at 3 p.m. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will be the presider.
From there, it will be transported to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City for the third Triduum Mass set at 8 p.m. officiated by Bishop Antonio Rañola, auxiliary-bishop emeritus of Cebu.
On Friday, Nov. 30, the image will be brought to the Ouano Wharf for the fluvial procession which will start 2 p.m.
The image will traverse the Mactan Channel on board Galleon San Diego. When it will reach the portion of the sea in front of the templete, the image will be lowered down to a proa or a small boat that depicts the Chamorro vessel that was used in dumping the dead body of Calungsod and Jesuit priest Diego Luis de San Vitores.
Fr. Jayme is set to board the proa and bring the image to the shoreline where a platform is built.
At 5 p.m., the thanksgiving Mass will begin with Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal as the main presider. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter