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Cebu expects 1m. for Calungsod sainthood

Church readies for pilgrim invasion to mark canonization

  • ucanews.com reporter, Cebu City
  • Philippines
  • September 6, 2012
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Cebu archdiocese has begun preparations to welcome an expected influx of around 1 million pilgrims attending celebrations in November marking Blessed Pedro Calungsod's canonization.

Father Jake Reyes, head of the archdiocese Committee on Local Pilgrims, said hotels, pension houses and retreat centers will be contacted to accommodate pilgrims.

"It would be like what we have during the Santo Niño feast day celebration," Fr. Reyes said, adding that the archdiocese will set up a “tent city” for those who cannot afford to stay in hotels.

Thousands of devotees of the Child Jesus or the Santo Niño flock to Cebu every January for weeklong celebrations.

Fr. Reyes said he has been coordinating with bishops around the country to help facilitate the celebration that will culminate on November 30 during the National Thanksgiving Mass for Calungsod.

Meanwhile, at least 1,000 pilgrims from Cebu province will travel to Rome next month for the canonization rites.

Monsignor Achilles Dakay emphasized that the trip "is a pilgrimage, not tourism."

Calungsod, a teenage Visayan catechist, will be canonized in Rome on October 21. He was killed in Guam on April 2, 1672, and was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2000.

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