Monday, April 01, 2013

San Pedro Calungsod's life and example celebrated in stage play

Francis O. Villacorta’s historical drama “San Pedro Calungsod, Batang Santo” tells the story of a young Visayan-Filipino from the 17th century who was canonized last October 21, 2012 at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City and became the second Filipino saint in history.

The dramatic presentation is designed to increase awareness and appreciation of San Pedro Calungsod’s martyrdom.

“San Pedro Calungsod, Batang Santo” stars BJ “Tolits” Forbes, Jojo Riguerra, Robert Correa, Abel Napuran, Juan Miguel Severo, Francis Cruz, Jamieson Tracy Lee, Richard Manabat, Perry Escano, James Lomahan, Joey de Guzman, Ronald Regala, Jack Falcis, Leo Priscilla, Bobby Tamayo and Emlyn Olfindo Santos.

On April 2, 1672, Pedro Calungsod, a migrant missionary catechist, was martyred while doing missionary work among the Chamorro natives of the Marianas Islands (Guam). He died along with a group of Spanish Jesuit missionaries and workers of the San Diego Mission to the Marianas.

Calungsod was the Visayan-Filipino companion of Jesuit missionary Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores. Together, they traversed the perilous islands of the Marianas preaching the Christian faith, baptizing children and adult natives.

Known to the Spaniards as Pedro Calungsor and to his superior, Father Diego, as “Indio Bisaya”, Calungsod was educated in a Jesuit boarding school for boys headed by Father Pedro Chirino. At a very young age, he learned Spanish and Latin, the visual arts and carpentry.

Under the Jesuits, he was trained in service of the Holy Mass and the teaching of Catholic catechism. He helped the Catholic church perform its functions in the Visayan communities.

Calungsod joined the San Diego Mission led by superior Father Diego Luis de San Vitores to what was then known as Islas de las Ladrones (later to be renamed the Marianas and is known today as Guam). As a mission assistant, Pedro helped the Spanish missionaries in baptizing the Chamorro natives and sharing with them the Gospel. Along with other young Filipino boys, many of whom were Pampangos and Visayans, he also helped in building churches in the villages.

History records that a month after the killing of Father San Vitores and Pedro Calungsod, the process of beatification was initiated for the mission superior. The process however was overtook by many political and religious conflicts that followed.

In 1981, the 1673 cause for the beatification of Father Diego was uncovered from the archives. This revived the process which resulted in San Vitores’s beatification on October 6, 1985. This paved the way to the recognition of Pedro Calungsod who was later beatified himself.

During the celebrations of the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II, in recognition of the work of young Asian laypersons, approved the decree super martyrio of Pedro Calungsod on the first month of the same year. This led to the beatification of Calungsod on March 5, 2000 at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.

For inquiries about the play's touring schedule, call 0917-4682045, 3841009 or 5248454.

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