The Philippines has a new saint after Pope Benedict XVI canonised Pedro Calungsod, a 17-year-old catechist from Cebu who was martyred in Guam in 1672, reports Ucanews.
Church bells rang while thousands in Cebu cheered, clapped and prayed as they watched a live three-hour television broadcast of the canonization at the Vatican.
“Filipino pilgrims occupied two thirds of [St Peter’s] square and we cheered the loudest … after the Pope mentioned the Philippines,” said Jesuit priest Jose Quilongquilong, rector of the Loyola House of Studies in Manila and who was in Rome for the canonisation.
Father Quilongquilong, who hails from Cebu, said the mood in St Peter’s Square was festive.
Pilgrims were introduced to seven new saints through tapestries unfurled from balconies on St. Peter’s Basilica, with Calungsod’s image hanging third from the right.
“This was the second highest place of honour,’’ said Ildebrando Leyson, vice-postulator for the Canonization Cause of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
Fr Leyson said the centre balcony is the highest place of honour, with the next in rank moving out from the centre.
FULL COVERAGE Thousands celebrate Calungsod sainthood (Ucanews)