Tacloban residents flock to welcome the image of San Pedro Calungsod
Young Catholics who are accompanying the image of San Pedro Calungsod on a nationwide tour say they hope the activity will lead to a renewal of faith among Filipinos.
The image of Calungsod, the country's second saint who was canonized less than a month ago, arrived in Tacloban City today to be greeted with a rousing welcome from Catholic residents.
Demetrio Cinco Jr., a youth volunteer from Cebu who accompanied the saint's image from Rome, called on young people gathered at the Sto. Nino church today to continue propagating the life and works of Calungsod.
"We must increase the degree of faith in our young people nowadays," he said. "More than the guidance of their parents, they need a saint whose life they can emulate."
Cinco hopes to accompany the image to every one of 36 cities on its tour around the country, to explain the virtues of Calungsod to young people.
Pedro Calungsod from the central Philippines who served the Jesuit Mission in the Marianas as a teenage catechist and helper from 1668 until his martyrdom in 1672.
Calungsod was formally beatified on March 5, 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. He was officially canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter's Basilica October 21.
John Peñanosa, a 16-year-old altar boy in Tacloban City, said he feels the need of "a personal saint" to inspire him.
"Like Calungsod, I also want to serve the Church while I am still young, and hopefully become a priest some day,” he said.
He added that he had locked himself up in his room and prayed before attending the ceremony to welcome the image of the saint.
Eileen Nazareno brought her three children to church to welcome the image. "With so many distractions in the world today, Calungsod is a blessing," she said.
"He was young and yet he was able to determine his role in the Church, which is to promote and defend it no matter the cost. I hope my children will learn from that.”
Archbishop John Du of Palo also expressed hope that the event will help young people to "seriously profess the Catholic faith."
"Some of today’s youths openly criticize the Church, while others no longer display respect for the Church’s teachings,” the prelate said.
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