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President Aquino declares October 21 as National Day of Celebration for Blessed Calungsod

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared October 21, Sunday, a National Day of Celebration on the occasion of the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. In a statement, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 481 on October 1 to honor the "life and martyrdom" of Calungsod, the soon-to-be second Filipino saint. The Blessed Calungsod’s canonization will be in Rome, wherein hundreds of Filipinos are expected to join.

The Proclamation said the canonization of Blessed Calungsod in Rome instills national pride in the hearts of Filipinos worldwide and that his life serves as an inspiration to the Filipino youth – to live a life anchored on values and principles.

The Palace is also hoping that the occasion will encourage Filipinos, particularly the youth to get involved in public and civic affairs.

Meanwhile, the official statue of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be brought from Cebu City to the Vatican on October 16 for the Filipino martyr’s canonization.

CBCP said the three-foot tall statue will be flown as a “passenger.”

CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma designated Fr. Charles Jayme as the official custodian of Calungsod’s image.

“I really take it as a blessing and gift from God being chosen for this. This is a humbling experience for me,” Jayme said.

After the canonization, the image will be flown back to the Philippines for the “Duaw Nasud” to major cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao from October 25 to November 27.

The image is expected to be in Cebu City again before the Nov. 30 thanksgiving Mass for Pedro Calungsod’s sainthood.

Calungsod was a teenage catechist from Visayas who accompanied Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in Tumhon village in Guan, Marianas, where they were killed on April 2, 1672.

Blessed Pope John Paul II beatified Blessed Pedro Calungsod in March 2000. (CBCP/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

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