Saint of the Month--April

Calungsod, then 14, was among the exemplary young catechists chosen to accompany the Jesuits in their mission to the Ladrones Islands or “Isles of Thieves”. In 1668, Calungsod travelled with the Spanish Jesuit missionaries to these islands, renamed the Mariana Islands, a year after in honor of The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Queen Regent of Spain, Maria Ana of Austria, who funded their voyage. Calungsod and San Vitores went to Guam to catechize the native Chamorros. Missionary life was difficult as the provisions did not arrive regularly, rough terrain, and frequent devastation by typhoons. Despite all these, the mission persevered and converted a significant number of locals. Calungsod along with San Vitores were martyred on April 2, 1672 by a spear to the chest and a blow to the head with a machete. On 19 December 2011, the Holy See officially approved the miracle qualifying Calungsod for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. The recognized miracle dates from 2002, when a Leyte woman who was pronounced clinically dead by accredited physicians two hours after a heart attack was revived when a doctor prayed for Calungsod’s intercession. Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the declaration ceremony on behalf of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He later revealed that Pope Benedict XVI approved and signed the official promulgation decrees recognizing the miracles as authentic and worthy of belief. The College of Cardinals were then sent a dossier on the new saints, and they were asked to indicate their approval. On February 18, 2012 after the Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals, Cardinal Amato formally petitioned Pope Benedict XVI to announce the canonization of the new saints. The Pope set the date for October 21, 2012 (World Mission Sunday). After Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Calungsod will be the second Filipino declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Martyrology celebrates Calungsod’s feast day along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores every April 2nd.

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