At a time when prayer and sacrifice are greatly needed to stem the passage of the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, Catholics in the Philippines are preparing for a truly blessed event: the canonization of the second Filipino saint.
Blessed Pedro Calungsod will officially be declared a saint during a Mass in Rome on Sunday, October 21. A catechist and missionary, Blessed Pedro was only 18-years-old when he became a martyr in 1672. After Pedro assisted a missionary priest with the baptism of the daughter of a village chief in Guam, the chief, who was hostile to the faith, had Pedro and his fellow missionaries killed.
A website dedicated to Blessed Pedro’s sainthood provides many details about his life, as well as news and information about the events leading up to his canonization.
“This is our second saint to be canonized and of course we are all very excited,” Mercedes A. Tuason, Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, told Rome Reports. “The best thing is that it’s for the Filipino youth. I think there are 10,000 Filipinos coming from the Philippines to witness this canonization, aside from all the other Filipinos from the other countries”
Catholic youth in the Philippines have been especially active in the defense of the faith over the past year. Working with Church officials and pro-life organizations, young Filipinos are leading the fight against the RH Bill which will implement government policies that threaten and are opposed to Catholic teaching on life and family issues.
Earlier this year, a group of young pro-life leaders representing a coalition of organizations signed the “Our Voice, Our Vote” youth manifesto opposing the RH Bill.
“The youth are the foremost victims of the Reproductive Health Bills pending in both housed of Congress. It is our generation that will face the reality of the many risks so intimately involved in this measure. It is our welfare that is on the line,” the young pro-lifers stated.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino, a Catholic, has vowed to get the RH Bill passed despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church. Congressional supporters of the bill have been stalled at every turn, and are now seeking amendments and compromise in order to pass the legislation. Congress in currently on recess, and will resume session November 3, 2012.
Dr. Rene Bullecer, country director of Human Life International (HLI) in the Philippines, is planning a series of pro-life conferences and rallies to mobilize opposition to the RH Bill once Congress resumes session.
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“I was able to read this revised bill which others called a ‘compromise’ bill before I heard the pro-RH backers talking about it in the media today,” Dr. Bullecer said in an email on Friday. “Personally, I find their ‘revised bill’ even more laden with lies. It is clearly targeting poor couples and marginalized families. All of the most questionable provisions are still in the bill, including penalties on those who oppose it.”
Pro-lifers indicated that many Filipinos will no doubt be asking for the intercession of Saint Pedro Calungsod to protect life and family in the Philippines with the defeat of the RH Bill.
“May Blessed Pedro Calungsod who will be canonized on October 21, 2012 protect his country,” Dr. Bullecer said.
LifeNews.com Note: Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.