MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino said Filipinos who are in Rome to witness the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod are in high spirits.
Tolentino is part of the Philippine delegation in Rome, Italy, led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Upon his arrival in Rome, Tolentino said he noticed that the general mood of Filipinos present for Sunday’s event was “exuberant.”
“Exuberant, probably, would be the exact description because this is a once in a lifetime event and the Filipinos will be forming one of the pillars of the Church. I’ve talked to several other pilgrims here and they are so proud, not just of our homeland, but for the contribution of Blessed Calungsod,” he told ANC’s “Prime News” on Saturday.
“We are so proud and elated to have our second Filipino saint here,” he said.
Tolentino said he hopes that Calungsod, a 17-year-old missionary, will serve as an inspiration for the Filipino youth.
“Pedro Calungsod would really serve as an inspiration to the Filipino youth. We have just launched several activities for the Filipino youth, for instance, our Youth Film Festival as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival and I hope that together we can bring home the message that [Blessed] Pedro Calungsod can really by an inspiration,” he said.
Calungsod, the second Filipino to be declared as a saint, will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI along with Franciscan nun Maria Anna Cope, French Jesuit Jacques Berthieu, German lay woman Maria Schaeffer, Italian priest Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Spanish nun Maria del Carmen and Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be named a saint.