Saint Pedro Calungsod
Born: Philippines, ~1655
Died: Guam, 1672
Feast Day: March 27
St. Pedro Calungsod was a Filipino layman martyred at a young age while on an evangelical journey among the Marianas Islands in 1672. Catholicism arrived with the Spanish in 1521. Though European colonial efforts nearly always involved the colonizing power’s search for temporal wealth, missionaries often attempted to separate their actions and goals from the exploitative goals of the colonizing powers. In the Philippines, for instance, evangelists did not force conversion on the indigenous population and worked to learn the local languages. They were also able, with some success, to propose devotion to various patron saints to replace previous animistic devotions.
Pedro lived in the central Visayas region of the Philippines and accepted Christianity from Jesuit missionaries in that area. At his beatification in 2000, John Paul II noted his devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary. He joined the Jesuits as a lay catechist on a journey to the modern Marianas Islands in 1668. Because of a confusion with a local leader over the baptisms the missionaries performed, Pedro was martyred along with the Jesuit priest Diego Luis de San Vitores in 1672 at the age of 17.
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A Treasured Presence: Filipino American Catholics by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Amazon)
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