Devotees line up to touch Calungsod image
By Nicholas Jones (The Philippine Star) - November 2, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The line of devotees waiting to touch the image of Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod as part of their observance of All Saints’ Day yesterday extended outside the door of the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Cathedral in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The image’s visit at the Armed Forces headquarters marked the first All Saints’ Day since Calungsod’s canonization by Pope Benedict XVI last month.

The three-feet wooden icon arrived at Camp Aguinaldo around 7:30 a.m. and was mounted on a makeshift altar for a procession to the nearby church. It had previously been at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters at Camp Crame.

A military brass band played as devotees waived white flags and paper streamers while the procession moved slowly forward from the camp’s main gate.

At the church, people took photographs and pushed their way to the front to briefly touch the statue as it was being taken off the platform by military personnel.

During the Mass held after the procession, military bishop Most Rev. Leopoldo Tumulak said it was an honor to celebrate Calungsod’s canonization on All Saints’ Day.

 “The martyr’s life was an example of how one’s actions were more important than words,” Tumulak said.

Calungsod was killed while trying to protect Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores in Guam in 1672. They were on a mission to convert the natives or Chamorros to Catholicism.

“Pedro put himself between the priest and the assailant. And the spear found its target…we are touched by Pedro because of what we know he did,” the bishop said.

Fr. Diony Beleno, a post chaplain at the church, told The STAR that the ceremony was a great honor for the military.  

“This image goes all throughout the country. This is the image that was blessed by the Pope during the canonization,” Beleno said.

He said Calungsod’s sainthood meant a great deal for Filipinos.

“Because we have these close family ties, so if you have somebody up there, he will be in charge of you, he will take care of you,” he said.

The image was to stay at the church overnight, and would be flown to Vigan and the Diocese of Nueva Segovia today. It will be toured to more than 20 dioceses, including in Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol and Eastern and Western Visayas.

On Nov. 27, the icon will be taken to Cebu City in time for the Triduum Masses leading to the national thanksgiving celebration on Nov. 30.– With Evelyn Macairan

ALL SAINTS ARMED FORCES BICOL AND EASTERN AND WESTERN VISAYAS CALUNGSOD CAMP AGUINALDO CAMP CRAME CEBU CITY CENTRAL LUZON DIEGO LUIS DIONY BELENO
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