For months I've been planning to attend the Canonization of the second Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod. Initially, I would want to go alone but I decided to  join the group organized by the church. And last  October 20 I travelled to Rome with fellow Filipinos  to attend the big event in Vatican.
 Due to unavoidable circumstances, we arrived late. We never got to use our tickets to the sitting area of   the Piazza San Pietro and we were on the very rear of the crowd. But me and my sister in law made our way a little bit closer to have a glimpse of what's going on in front.  Anyway what's important is, I was there to attend the sacred event, I was there to witness the canonization of the Philippines' second saint.
The canonization rite and Euchatistic celebration was celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI as we all know by now. Free mass/prayer booklet  were made available to all attendees, its first part is the profile  biography of all the Seven " Blessed" for canonization. It made me really proud to be a Filipino because San Pedro is the second among the seven. He was also the youngest at 17 years old.
 The seven new Saints are:
  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha - Laity born in New York by Indian Native parents on 1656.
  • St. Carmen Salles Barangueras  - foundress of the Immaculate Conception born in Vic, Barcelona, Spain on April 9. 1848.

  • San Pedro Calungsod - Laity born in Cebu, Philippines on 1655.

  • St. Jacques Berthieu - Priest of the Society of Jesus born in Chantal, France on November 27, 1838

  • St. Giovanni Battista Piamarta - Priest who founded the male Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth.He was born in Brescia, Italy on November 26, 1841.

  • St. Marianne Cope - Her birth name is Barbara but he took the name Marianne when she entered the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse,now known as the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. She was born in Heppenheim, Germany on January 23, 1838.

  • St. Anna Schaffer  - Laity who recognize her vocation as "mission of suffering". She was  born in Germany on February 18, 1882
the new saints (from left to right)
 St. Kateri Tekakwitha,St. Carmen Salles Barangueras;San Pedro Calungsod;St. Jacques Berthieu;St. Giovanni Battista Piamarta ;St. Marianne Cope; St. Anna Schaffer  -
San Pedro Calungsod was a native of the Visayan region and went with Spanish Jesuit missionaries to the Mariana Islands in 1668.
He met his fate on 1672 when he went to Guam with Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores to baptize a baby. The baby's father named Matapang refused to have his baby baptized. He enlisted another villager, named Hirao, to kill the missionaries. Matapang hurled spears to Pedro but being a valiant boy he skirted the spears remarkably. He could have escaped but he did not want to leave Padre Diego alone. But because Padre Diego never allowed his companions to carry weapons, he was finally hit with a spear in the chest and Hirao used cutlass to blow his head.They killed Padre Diego after that. They threw their bodies into the ocean so their remains would never be found again.
 On October 6, 1985 Padre Diego was beatified while Pedro Calungsod was beatified on March 5, 2000 by Pope John Paul II, now a "Blessed" too.
It was estimated that 7,000 devotees from all over the world attended the canonization. I can say that almost half of that number are Filipinos proff is, memorabilias with the image of San Pedro were all sold out.

priest from Madagascar
It was a sight to behold to see numerous Philippine flags flying in the square and I was so glad to meet other Filipinos who came from different parts of  the globe.It was an experience hard to duplicate, we never know when will there be another Filipino saint.

Pinoys from California
Filipino priests from Visayas
the Italian police keeping the area orderly.

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