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WYD02 Saints: Blessed Pedro Calungsod of Visayas - Filipino catechist

July 27, 2007
Blessed Pedro CalungsodA young Filipino catechist martyred on Guam. He traveled to Guam with Blessed Father Diego Luis San Vitores (beatified in 1985) and there encountered hostile natives. Both he and Blessed Diego were murdered and hurled into the sea. Their bodies were never recovered. Pedro was beatified on March 5, 2000. From the homily of Pope John Paul II: "'If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven' (Mt 10:32). From is childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Father Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Father Diego, but as a 'good soldier of Christ' preferred to die at the missionary's side. Today intercedes for the young. In particular those of his native Philippines, and he challenges them. Young friends, do not hesitate to follow the example of Pedro, who 'pleased God and was loved by him' (Wis 4:10) and who, having come to perfection in so short a time, lived a full life (cf.ibid., v. 13)"
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.
Former National Director and C.E.O., World Youth Day 2002
C.E.O., Salt and Light Catholic Television Network, Canada
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