Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Pedro (Peter) Calungsod was a 17th century Filipino lay Catholic who preached Christianity in the United States territory of Guam, where he was martyred at the age of 17.
He was born on July 21, 1654, at Ginatilan in Cebu province of the Philippines. Little is known about his family, early life and how he went on to become a lay missionary.
Calungsod was a skilled sacristan and catechism teacher who became a companion of Spanish Jesuit missionary Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores. In Guam, he had primary education in a Jesuit-run boarding school and learned Spanish. He also developed skills for drawing, painting, singing, acting, and carpentry, to embolden his missionary activities.
Together with Father Vitores, Calungsod preached Christianity to the Chamorro people through catechism. They baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder. Their efforts saw many Chamorro convert to Catholicism.
On April 2, 1672, shortly after Calungsod and the priest baptized an infant, a mob enraged by anti-Christian propaganda attacked them. Choco, an influential Chinese man, hatched a plot to eliminate the missionaries. He instigated the islanders by saying that the missionaries had mixed poison with the baptismal water and wine used in the Holy Mass.
A spear thrown by a native pierced the layman’s chest, and he collapsed on the ground. Father Vitores was also killed shortly. The bodies of the martyrs were dragged to the sea and were disposed of the water after stones were tied to their feet.
Pope John Paul II beatified Calungsod March 5, 2000, in the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on Oct. 21, 2012, making him one of the youngest saints of the Church.
The shrine of Saint Pedro Calungsod at Cebu City is a major Catholic pilgrimage site in the Philippines.
St. Pedro Calungsod is the patron of Filipino youth, catechists, catechumens and altar servers.
During his beatification, Pope John Paul II hailed the teenage martyr for his great example of faith.
“From his 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,” the pope said.
Gonsalo Garcia: First Indian missionary martyred in Japan
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most...
Lorenzo Ruiz, Filipino layman who became a martyr in Japan
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and...
Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong and companions laid the foundation of Korean Catholic Church
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of...
Paul Miki and companions, crucified for faith in Japan
Miki and his 25 companions were killed under the orders of Hideyoshi Toyotomi at...
Elation over move to canonize Filipino catechist
Laureana Franco left a well-paying job in the 1960s to become a volunteer catechist...
Philippine Catholic university under fire over ‘censorship’
Suppressing campus press for a benign photo is violation of students rights enshrined in the...
Philippine government accused of stifling protests
Restricts rallies marking the 1986 People Power Revolution that ended two decades of dictatorship...
Indian Church relishes miracles of Saint Thomas, the Apostle
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)...
Indian Church beholds the memory of exiled Nepali Catholics
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali...
India’s Santa Cruz Cathedral, a repository of Portuguese heritage
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a...
India’s miraculous Marian shrine shelters Asia’s largest church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous...
The archdiocesan area of 26,788 sq. kilometres includes one of the country's eight divisions. It comprises the civil
On May 8, 1807, the Vatican established the apostolic prefecture of Batavia (Jakarta's name during Dutch colonial
The Chittagong Archdiocese comprises 17 civil districts -- Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati,
The diocese covers four districts:Sagar, Raisen, Vidisha and Guna of Madhya Pradesh. Sagar district is the third
In a land area of 5,299 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers two civil districts -- Ranchi and
The Archdiocese of Lahore is a major Catholic Church territory in Punjab province and the oldest diocese in the
Besides covering the entire civil state of the northern India's Punjab, Jalandhar diocese comprises the neighboring