Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cebu Philippines: St. Pedro Calungsod and the Parian of Cebu City

The first Visayan Roman Catholic saint is Pedro Calungsod who lived in the 17th century and who was canonized in 2012.  He was a seventeen-year-old sacristan and missionary catechist who, with Father Diego Luis de San Vitores, was persecuted and martyred in 1672 in Guam by the Chamorros.

While it is not known where exactly Pedro Calungsod was born, it is accepted that he was a Visayan (i.e. a resident of the central part of the Philippines which includes Cebu). Many Cebuanos are certain that he had spent time in Cebu City. Father Diego,with whom he worked with, was a Jesuit missionary, and Jesuits had jurisdiction over the Parian district in Cebu City.

The monsignor who said our fiesta Mass had mentioned that people should visit Cebu as a pilgrim site because of Pedro Calungsod. It was an interesting thought. Most religious pilgrims come to Cebu for the Santo Nino (Child Jesus). Indeed Pedro Calungsod should be another reason for a pilgrimage to Cebu. While there is a Pedro Calungsod chapel in Taguig City and a Pedro Calungsod Shrine at the Archbishop's Palace along D. Jakosalem Street, it would make sense to give St. Pedro "presence" in Cebu's historic distict. There are still many structures and streets that had been around when St. Pedro was alive.

I recall visiting the French pilgrim sites of Lisieux, Mont Saint Michel, and Vannes. While there was hardly a sign marking the remains of St. Vincent Ferrer in Vannes, and Mont Saint Michel was more of a tourist place, Lisieux very much reminded visitors that St. Therese had lived there.

The Parian should have a place that honors St. Pedro Calungsod.


St. Pedro Calungsod, pray for us!

Here is a prayer to St. Pedro Calungsod from a site:

Prayer for Personal Intentions
        San Pedro Calungsod student, catechist, young migrant, missionary, faithful friend, martyr, you inspire us by your fidelity in time of adversity; by your courage in teaching the Faith in the midst of hostility; and by your love in shedding your blood for the sake of the Gospel.
                         Make our prayers your own
                      (Pause to mention your intentions)
and intercede for us before the throne of Mercy and Grace so that, as we experience the help of Heaven, we may be encouraged to live and proclaim the Gospel here on earth.     Amen.  

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