Sunday 27th May 2018

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Pedro Calungsod

April 19, 2018 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Guam, a small island about 1,600 miles east of the Philippines, is an unincorporated territory of the United States. This small island, which has played an important role in U.S. military activities in Southeast Asia since the early twenty-first century, was recently a pawn in the political chess game with North Korea.
The Jesuits first came to the Philippines in 1581. They frequently went to Guam to preach the Gospel. In the mid-seventeenth century, they took a young man, Pedro, with them who served faithfully until his death.
Little is known about Pedro Calungsod, including where he was born and who his parents were. He was probably born in Visayas, a village in the Philippines — certainly he was born in the Diocese of Cebu around July 21, 1654. He must have been raised by a devout Catholic family and formed well in the faith since he was chosen to be a missionary.
As was common at the time, Pedro was most likely selected by the Jesuits to attend one of their boarding schools in the Philippines. In addition to catechesis, he would have learned communication skills in Spanish, practiced some fine arts such as painting and singing, as well as the more practical skills of carpentry. These all would prepare him to serve in the missions.
In 1668, when Pedro was fourteen years old, the Jesuit missionaries chose their best catechists — including Pedro — to accompany them to present-day Guam.
At the time, the Spanish called it Islas de los Ladrones or Isles of Thieves because the people stole so much from Magellan and his men. The name was later changed to the Mariana Islands in honor of two persons. First, the Spanish wanted to dedicate the islands to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and second, they wanted to recognize the missionaries’ patron, Maria Ana of Austria, the Queen Regent of Spain.
Pedro accompanied Fr. Diego de San Vitores, a Jesuit priest, to Guam to convert the Chamorros. The people were receptive and many accepted Catholicism. Frequently, they would bring children and infants in danger of dying to the Jesuits for Baptism.
This led some to believe that Baptism was killing the children. This was something the Devil quickly exploited when trouble came in the form of a Chinese gangster, Choco. He had been exiled to Guam from Manila because of his crimes. Choco told the people that the baptismal waters used in the administering of the sacrament were poisonous, and thus so many children died after being baptized.
During Holy Week in 1672, the medicine men were quick to join Choco in his defamation as they saw the threat the Jesuits represented to their own methods. Young men who also resented the morality and holiness of the priests also joined the gangster. The natives, fanned by Choco’s rhetoric, sought to rid themselves of the missionaries.
Several were killed, according to a letter written by Fr. Francisco Solano on April 26, 1672. Those martyred were three Spaniards: Diego Bazan, Manuel Rangel, and Manuel de Nava; a Tagalog man named Damian, and Nicolas de Figueroa, a Pampango catechist.
The violence did not abate and reached its peak on the eve of Palm Sunday. Early in the morning Fr. San Vitores, accompanied by Pedro, went to Tumhon searching for their companion, Esteban. There they learned that a baby girl had been born. Of course, San Vitores was eager to baptize the child. However, Matapang, the father, refused the Jesuit. Matapang had become a Catholic, but after the rumors about poisonous waters began, he rejected the faith.
When Fr. San Vitores called out for any children who wanted to be baptized to come out, Matapang, with great sarcasm, shouted, “There inside, I have a skull. Baptize it for me with that water of God.”
Although Hirao, a local native, sought to appease Matapang, the angry father retorted to Hirao, “Let us kill him.” Knowing Fr. San Vitores was a good and holy priest, Hirao refused. Matapang verbally abused Hirao — who was also a former criminal — calling him a coward and again urged him, “Let us kill him!”
The rumors started by Choco did their damage, leading Matapang to try to taunt Hirao into being his accomplice. This also made villagers apprehensive about challenging Matapang, who was also their chief. Hirao, not wanting to be thought a coward, finally submitted to Matapang.
When they confronted the missionaries, Fr. San Vitores and Pedro led the adults away, taking them and the children to the seashore to begin preaching. They invited Matapang to join them, but his vile temper still flared. He shouted at the priest that he was angry with God and was against the Christian teachings.
Finally, Matapang and Hirao left to retrieve their spears. In their absence Fr. San Vitores baptized the children, including the newborn whose mother sought Baptism for her child. When Matapang returned and found out his child had been baptized, he flew into a rage and attacked Pedro and the priest. Pedro, young and trained in martial arts, could have fled easily, but he refused to abandon Fr. San Vitores.
Three Jesuits confirmed this account. Francisco Ezquerra, Gerard Bouwens, and Pierre Coemans wrote of Pedro that “as a good Catholic, he preferred to die side by side with his Father, and not to abandon him. Without any doubt we think that he would have first done away with his two enemies and saved himself and the Father if he were armed, and considering his energetic bravery. But the venerable Father’s pious heart would not allow arms in his companions.”
Pedro managed to dodge many thrusts of their weapons, but eventually one hit him and Hirao rushed to strike Pedro’s head, killing him. When the priest had also been killed, the two evil men tied up their victims and threw them into the sea. Thus, there are no first-class relics, but the machete is now venerated as a second-class relic.
In 1981, three centuries after these deaths, the papers for the beatification of Fr. San Vitores were discovered, bringing to light Pedro’s heroic end. The archbishop of Cebu, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, applied for the cause of Pedro to be opened. Pope St. John Paul II beatified Pedro on March 5, 2000.
In 2003, a woman from Leyte was pronounced dead on March 26. An attending physician sought Pedro’s intercession to save the woman, and two hours after she had been declared dead, she came back to life. This miracle paved the way for Pedro’s canonization. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on October 21, 2012. His feast is celebrated on April 2, the day he was killed in 1672.
Dear St. Pedro, obtain for us, we pray, the grace to be zealous in the salvation of souls, brave in the time of persecution, and persevering in protecting those who serve God as His priests. May they fearlessly proclaim God’s mercy! Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Pope asks for prayers for Catholics in China

Pope Francis has appealed to all Christians to be spiritually close to Catholics who live in China, and to pray they may live their faith in full communion with the Holy See. Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled…Continue Reading

Life is the ‘true source of America’s greatness,’ President Trump tells pro-life gala

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump affirmed the importance of the right to life and called on pro-life voters to help secure it Tuesday night, in his keynote address at the Susan B. Anthony List’s 11th…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: Priests who ‘bless’ gay unions will answer for it on Judgement Day

May 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Clerics who “bless” homosexual unions are “reintroducing a kind of pagan temple prostitution,” which is “akin to apostasy,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider said in a newly-published interview addressing ongoing controversies and crises in the Catholic Church.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Catholics must let Christ reign as King in face of ‘apostasy’ within Church

ROME, May 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics must consciously place themselves under the “Kingship of Christ” in the face of enemies of the Church today attempting to “infiltrate the life of the Church herself and to corrupt the Bride of…Continue Reading

President Trump to cut Planned Parenthood funding

The Trump administration is announcing its intentions to cut a significant amount of taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. The proposed regulation will also better protect victims of sexual assault, incest and rape because it will require that…Continue Reading

Bishop Tobin is right: the Catholic Church must stay true to itself

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who is the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, has tweeted, and it is a mighty tweet, a gem amidst the dross and banality of Twitter. The Bishop has written:

Alfie Evans laid to rest today with no coroner’s investigation, no toxicology report

LONDON, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The question of what caused the death of UK toddler Alfie Evans may never be known. The UK High Court refused today to order a post-mortem examination of the toddler’s remains at the request…Continue Reading

Google and Facebook Censor Pro-Life Free Speech Ahead of Ireland Vote to Legalize Abortion

This has been coming on in Ireland for months, really since the outlines of the wording for the May 25 referendum to gut protections for unborn children were released. Simon Harris, the Minister of Health, and others, committed to overturning…Continue Reading

Bill Nye the Science Guy Headlines Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” a man who became famous for teaching children about science, has anything but children’s best interests at heart. Nye is an abortion activist who spoke Tuesday at fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in Texas. San Antonio…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Ireland votes to legalize abortion: ‘a tragedy of historic proportions’

baby2

IRELAND, May 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Irish citizens voted to legalize abortion on Friday, ending Ireland’s legacy as one of the world’s most pro-life nations. The votes are still being officially counted, but the pro-abortion campaign is declaring victory and pro-lifers are calling this a “tragedy of historic proportions.” “The 8th amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child – it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, h

Irish Times exit poll projects Ireland has voted by landslide to repeal Eighth Amendment

Ireland has voted by a landslide margin to change the constitution so that abortion can be legalised, according to an exit poll conducted for The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI. The poll suggests that the margin of victory for the Yes side in the referendum will be 68 per cent to 32 per cent – a stunning victory for the Yes side after a long and often divisive campaign

Voting underway on Ireland’s abortion referendum

Voting was underway in Ireland on Friday on a referendum that could legalize abortions in the country, which currently bans the practice except in rare cases when the mother’s life is in danger. The referendum in the largely Roman Catholic country will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment, in place since 1983, that protects the life of fetuses from the moment of conception. If citizens vote to repeal the amendment, new abortion laws would…Continue Reading

Ireland . . . Abortion referendum: Last call for campaigners as voting starts

Both Yes and No campaigns have been holding events in Dublin on Thursday as the two sides prepare for the final day of campaigning before voting. Both sides are making their final appeals to voters ahead of the moratorium on broadcast coverage, which begins on at 2pm on Thursday. The ballot boxes are open from 7am to 10pm across the country and the results will be counted on Saturday morning

Cardinal Sarah: Ordaining married men would be a ‘break’ with Apostolic Tradition

CHARTRES, France, May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ordaining married men to the Catholic priesthood would be a break with apostolic tradition, a leading Catholic prelate has said. Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that “serious consequences” would arise in the Church if she were to admit married men of sound reputation, or “viri probati” into the priesthood. The Cardinal, who is 72, made

Advertisement(2)

Can A Pope Change Moral Truth?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN (Editor’s Note: Please see commentary from The Wanderer on p. 4A.) + + + That joking retort we heard as children, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is starting to look like a serious question. Asked five years ago about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, Pope Francis responded, “If a person is…Continue Reading

Teacher-Strike Movement . . . Looks Ahead To Using Experience Gained To Help Dems In November

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — It looked like one of those YouTube man-at-the-beach interviews by Mark Dice where random clueless passers-by don’t know what country Mt. Rushmore is located in, or where Donald Trump lives. But these particular questions were posed to red-clad protesters outside the Arizona State Capitol. They had answers, all right, but…Continue Reading

Laboratory Rats And Their Masters

By GEORGE A. KENDALL I recently heard a story which upset me more and more the longer I thought about it. It concerned a young man getting ready to go off to college. The young man’s father is a very successful executive, and his son has been accepted for admission to his father’s alma mater,…Continue Reading

In Defense Of An Ancient And Universal Tradition Of The Church

By JAMES MONTI On Sunday, June 3, here in the U.S., we will be observing the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In other places this same feast will be celebrated on the preceding Thursday, the day of the week originally chosen by Pope Urban IV (+1265) for this commemoration of the Holy Eucharist in accord with…Continue Reading

Iraqi “Republic”: No Christian Converts

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. His column is distributed by Creators.com.) + + + The 2017 State Department report on human rights in Iraq, which was released last month, begins by unambiguously declaring: “Iraq is a constitutional parliamentary republic.” It says, “The outcome of the 2014…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Sacrament Of Confession

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 30 Confession is certainly the most controversial of all sacraments that Christ instituted for our salvation, especially among Protestants of every denomination. The most common objection is, “Why should I confess my sins to a man just like me, and perhaps a worse sinner?” The objector misses the point completely, since Confession is not…Continue Reading

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

By DON FIER In our treatment up until now of the eight Beatitudes, it has been demonstrated that the first three, in keeping with the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, are mainly associated with “flight from and deliverance from sin. The next two…are the beatitudes of the active life of a Christian who, freed from evil, engages in the pursuit…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Can you explain how the date for Easter is determined? It changes every year. — R.W., Massachusetts. A. Since the Council of Nicaea in 325, the date on which Easter falls is determined by the full moon. It is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring after the vernal equinox, that is, the time of…Continue Reading

The Tenth Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum… “Any Experience Of Rupture Must Come To An End”

By ARCHBISHOP ALEXANDER K. SAMPLE (Editor’s Note: The Most Rev. Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., gave this homily for the Pontifical High Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2018. (The occasion was a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter that…Continue Reading

The Oneness Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Most Holy Trinity (YR B) Readings: Deut. 4:32-34, 39-40 Romans 8:14-17 Matt. 28:16-20 In the first reading today, Moses addresses the people of Israel, challenging them to think about what they might believe about God and about themselves in relation to God. The problem for the Jewish people, having come out of Egypt,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 19th century the Canadians endured a crisis of education called the Manitoba question. Prelates, priests, politicians, and laity joined in both the private and the public debate that lasted for years. The Catholic Church was deeply divided over the question of the schools and letters crossed the Atlantic to and from Rome in efforts…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord paid the laborers the same wage whether they worked from early morning or began in the afternoon. The rewards were the same (Matthew, chapter 20). So too are the rewards for serving the Lord with zeal and perseverance. St. Augustine, converting at the age of 33, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Francis of Assisi — all…Continue Reading