(AsiaNews) - On the occasion of the 28th World Youth Day, to be held this year
in Rio de Janeiro, 38 pilgrims will depart from the Philippines to tell the
world the story of St. Pedro
Calungsod, the 18 year-old missionary martyr beatified by John Paul II in 2000
and canonized by Benedict XVI in 2012.
sponsored by Marlito Cabigas, head of the Cebu Youth Commission, has been made
possible thanks to support from local archdiocese. Cabigas,
also manager of the Facebook page "Barkada ni Pedro", launched on the
Web to spread the news of his canonization, explains that "the aim is to
inform young people and share with them, the works and teaching of young saint. " In
preparation for the event, which will start on July 23 in Brazil, the local
parish has organized a series of weekly meetings in which the pilgrims will
receive Portuguese lessons and have the opportunity to reflect together on the
life of St. Peter Calungsod.
was born from a Filipino family in Cebu, in 1654. From
childhood he regularly attended the local Catholic mission, and soon filled the
role of young catechist. He
joined the Spanish Jesuit Diego Luiz de San Vitores and decided to follow him
on a mission on the island of Guam, where together they facilitated numerous
According to tradition, the success enjoyed by the two missionaries on the
island aroused the hatred and hostility of the local shamans. Following
an epidemic that struck the child population of the tribes, Pedro Calungsod and
Vitores were accused of baptizing the infants with poisoned water, were
murdered and thrown into the sea in 1672.