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Blessed St.Pedro Calungsod is now a saint

Updated on February 26, 2015
Blessed Pedro Calungsod- Martyr
Blessed Pedro Calungsod- Martyr
The killing of Padre Diego
The killing of Padre Diego
Agana, Guam, before WW2
Agana, Guam, before WW2
Agana, Guam of today
Agana, Guam of today

Calungsod's birthplace and early training

  • Pedro Calungsod is a Filipino.
  • He saw the first light of day in Molo, Iloilo City circa 1655.
  • He went to Cebu and was tutored by the Spanish Jesuit missionaries as a catechist, then studied also under the Jesuit in the town of Loboc, Bohol before joining the evangelization movement in Guam.
  • He could read, write and speak the local Visayan dialect, Spanish and Chamorro.

Calungsod joined Padre Diego's mission

  • Together with fellow 17 boy catechists, including himself, Calungsod sailed to the Ladrones Islands in the western Pacific in 1668 with some Spanish missionaries from the Philippines led by Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores to convert the Chamorros to the Catholic faith.
  • Padre Diego is credited to have covered places in his missionary work from 1662 to 1667 Taytay, Manila, Sta. Ines, Sta. Barbara, Marilaya, Mindoro, etc, all in the Philippines.


  • The missionaries experienced severe hardships in the Ladrones.
  • Thick jungles and stiff cliffs barred their ways.
  • Devastating storms and bad weather frequented the islands.
  • What problem pestered them most was their food supply and other missionary provision which failed to come at expected time.


  • Despite the difficulties, the missionary team persevered; their Mission counted with plenty of converts.
  • By this time the missionaries earned remarkable milestone by renaming the Ladrones Islands to “Marianas” in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Queen Regent of Spain Maria Ana who shouldered the Mission.

Choco, Chinese quack in ancient Guam
Choco, Chinese quack in ancient Guam

Chinese quack Choco was a thorn

  • Converts had their children baptized by the missionaries and some of the baptized Chamorro infants especially those that were weak and sickly died.
  • Choco- a Chinese quack- saw in this a chance to improve his trade. Envious of the remarkable gain that the missionaries were reaping among the native Chamorros, Choco began to spread rumor that the baptismal water contained poison thus the death of some infants.
  • Choco convinced many of the newly Chamorro converts who quickly renounced their faith.
  • Choco’s evil campaign was supported by the sorcerers called Macanjas and young male prostitutes call Urritaos who, in connivance with the apostates, started the move of persecuting the missionaries.

The baptism
The baptism

In Tomhon to baptize Mata'pang's baby girl

  • April 2, 1672- a Saturday immediately before the Passion Sunday of that year- is an indelible assault day perpetrated against the missionaries.
  • Calungsod then about 17 years of age and the mission superior Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores visited Tomhom (now Tumon a main tourist district) a village in Guam to baptize a newly born baby girl.
  • The baby girl was Mata’pang’s child.
  • Mata’pang was the Chamorro chief of Tomhom.
  • They asked Mata’pang for permission and to bring out the baby. But Mata’pang though a Christian friend of the missionaries, angrily refused to have his baby baptized.
  • Mata’pang became Choco’s convert and had already renounced his newly found Catholic faith.

The plan to kill the missionaries
The plan to kill the missionaries

Mata'pang rudely refused baptism, hatched a plan to kill the missionaries instead

  • Mata’pang was afforded time to cool down.
  • At the shore nearby Padre Diego and Calungsod treated the children and some adults with religious songs and hymns.
  • Mata’pang- when invited to join the group- only shouted that he was already fed up with God and the Christian teachings.
  • Chief Mata’pang hatched a sinister plan to kill the missionaries.
  • He went to a non-Christian village Chief Hirao to help him implement his evil motive.
  • Chief Hirao, fully aware of the kindness and humane treatment of the missionaries towards the natives, refused assistance.
  • Mata’pang belittled Hirao’s person by calling him a coward.
  • Hirao didn’t like being branded a coward so he gave Matapang his consent.

Death of Padre Diego and Pedro Calungsod

  • While Mata’pang was away enlisting the help of Hirao, Padre Diego and Calungsod took advantage of the situation by baptizing Mata’pang’s baby girl with the permission of the Christian mother.
  • Mata’pang got mad upon learning of the baptism of his child.
  • Furious, he aimed a spear in the direction of Calungsod but swiftly darted away from the on-coming deadly weapon.
  • Calungsod who was agile and in the prime of youth, said authoritative witnesses, could have overcome their aggressors if he was armed but Padre Diego never consented to have his companions bring weapons.
  • Finally, a bone-tip spear found its mark in Calungsod’s chest.
  • The brave boy fell to the ground where Hirao came brandishing and finishing him off with a blow of his home-made machete in the head.
  • Padre Diego administered to the fallen sacristan and catechist the sacramental absolution.
  • The assassins were not contented killing Calungsod, they likewise speared Padre Diego and hacked him to death with the machete.

Tomhon Bay, Guam, is the spot where the martyrdom was supposed to have happened.
Tomhon Bay, Guam, is the spot where the martyrdom was supposed to have happened.
The martyrs were dumped into the sea
The martyrs were dumped into the sea

Weighted with big stones, the remains of the martyrs were dumped off the ocean

  • The crime took place near the ocean. The tale of the murder that was handed from generation to generation told of the ocean turning red on that fateful day.
  • Mata’pang took hold of Padre Diego’s crucifix and smashed it to pieces while uttering unholy words against God.
  • Mata’pang and Hirao took the clothes off their victims and with large stones tied to their feet dumped them into the sea.
  • The remains of the martyrs, it is said, were never recovered.

Rev. Fr. Roy M. Rosales
Rev. Fr. Roy M. Rosales

Testimonial on the disposal of the martyrs' remains and Calungsod beatification

  • Josephine Darang of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, in her article “Blessed Pedro Calungsod a candidate for canonization …” bore witness to the truth that the body of Pedro Calungsod was thrown into the sea as told to her by Cathedral Rector of Pasig Fr. Roy Rosales.
  • Pope John Paul II beatified Pedro Calungsod on March 5, 2000 at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
  • Calungsod's feast day is celebrated April 2.
  • It is believed Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores’ beatification in 1985 paved the way for Pedro Calungsod to be given the same honor.

PBA player Ronald Tubid (R) then 17 years of age acted as St. Pedro Calungsod's model.
PBA player Ronald Tubid (R) then 17 years of age acted as St. Pedro Calungsod's model.

St. Pedro Calungsod's replica

  • There's no picture of the exact person of Blessed Pedro Calungsod on how he looks.
  • The current images of Calungsod and his attire were based on description of Visayan males as described by Calungsod's comtemporary Writer Alcina and Pedro Chirino, SJ.
  • The Archdiocese of Manila decided to publish in 1998 Jesuit theologian Catalino Arevalo's pamphlet PEDRO CALUNGSOD YOUNG VISAYAN "Proto-Martyr".
  • A model was needed and the task was assigned to Ronald Tubid, then 17-year old of Oton, Iloilo.
  • Calungsod now bears the face of Tubid. This then became the basis for Rafael del Casal's painting in 1999, which was chosen as the official portrait for Calungsod.
  • The Del Casal portrait is the first to feature a Christogram, the seal of the Society of Jesus with which he was affiliated.
  • The original painting is now enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City.

Life hereafter
Life hereafter

Your VOTE will be appreciated

Is there life hereafter? Can saints really intercede or help?

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    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      francis, thanks for dropping by. Calungsod was destined to be a saint. Unlike unsung others, records of his martyrdom are safely intact.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      a person needs not to live when he first to be a saint. but i believe it was his faith. his blessed and strong unwavering faith that qualifies him to be one

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      kristine olivar, today 7 were canonized and recognized saints including Pedro Calungsod by the highest Catholic officials in Rome, Italy. It goes to show that the whole of Christendom is thankful for what he has done. Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      kristine jane olivar 

      6 years ago

      we should be thankful 4 all things he has done 4 us filipinos

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      A person needs not to live long to be knighted as saint. What I believe it was his faith, his strong and unwavering faith that qualifies him to be one. Their christening of the baby was done in good faith and were ready to die for it.

    • profile image 

      6 years ago

      I be leave Pedro was wrong by baptizer the baby girl against the fathers wishes, this was a problem for the husband and the wife, Pedro forced the baby to be catholic,

      how do you feel when some one try's to force some thing on you ??, Pedro was a boy, a teenager, he was a smart young teenager, he has not lived long enough to be a saint.

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      We Filipinos should be thankful to have HIM died in the service of the Lord to help in the redemption of mankind. Hope this hub helps better understand his life and fellow missionaries in spreading the faith during those darkest hours. Thanks for the visit, Denden.

    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 

      6 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      thanks for this wonderful information.i will post this to my page in facebook this time Pedro Calungsod is so busy praying for the people here in Philippines asking for his prayers to our Almighty Father through our Sviour Jesus Christ.Truly saints can help us through their prayers

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Meo (Romeo Bayno, Tuburan, Cebu), let me congratulate you for posting a detailed synopsis of your faith and the benefits now being reaped by your children because of the heroic struggle you and your children have undergone just to provide a bright future. With the intercession of Blessed Calungsod, I pray that God may grant you more. I see that you've the makings of a writer, a rare talent that you can develop here in hubpages. You may try as well as others by visiting the appropriate link found in this hub above. Thank you Meo and may you serve as a model for those who go astray from God's way.

    • profile image

      Romeo Bayno 

      7 years ago

      A Prayer Early Answered, Lately Recognized

      One Friday night after we had our dinner, I went to the dark BPC Hall of ACC and found out that the altar where there is the enthroned framed Beato , don't have flowers. I was so disappointed why the flower arrangers of the weekend failed to include its altar when in fact, I always bring flowers every weekend during the formation. So out of my concern, I went outside and pick bougainvilleas and arranged it in a flower vase and placed it on the altar.

      I am a volunteer catechist of the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua, Tuburan, Cebu. Our parish sent us to this Basic Catechist Formation Program of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministry. This is a 17 weekend catechist training program of the Archdiocese of Cebu. The venue of this catechist training program is at the Archdiocesan Catechetical Center, along C. Mina Steet, Mabolo, Cebu City. This is just at the back of the Mabolo Parish Church..

      Just call me Meo, 53 years of age, a father of three (3) grown-ups and a grandfather of a five (5) year old boy, by my eldest daughter. My wishes for them, is to have them finish their respective college education and for me to be able to fulfill this, I worked hard for my children. I sent them to a good school, a member of Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) because I wanted them to have a good foundation in Catholic learning, because I came from a Catholic family, a branch of a devout Catholic family members whose other branches went already astray. It’s only us in my father’s, because my other uncles and aunts had shifted to different religions or to other Christian faith. My family was a happy one, until a problem came-up that started when I lost my job that made me to distance myself from them. Disintegrated myself from my family, and ended-up in my church volunteer works, and opted to live separately in my hometown. This story of mine is about how; my prayer was answered with his intercession, the Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

      When our formation class resumed that night, Sister Maricor informed us that the scheduled viewing of Cardinal Rosales video can't be shown because, she cannot locate it. Instead, she showed us a documentary made by a priest about the beatification rite of Pedro Calungsod Sometime in March, 2000. While the viewing is going on, a memory on that event came-up to my mind, when I saw those carozzas from different parishes and the procession of the Beato. I remembered that on that particular event, I was there! And it's not just that I witnessed that occasion but I remembered about my little and short prayer to him when he passed-by me on that procession. I said to him: Now, you are already a Beato, and I was told by the priests on that event that you can intercede for us.Please help me in my problem. I am now an unemployed when our company was closed last month. My daughter Ivy, cannot proceed to her 2nd year proper in Business Administration. My son cannot proceed to college after graduating at the Holy Rosary School of Pardo. He told me that if he cannot go to college, he will just go to Manila and join her aunt working in Divisoria. My youngest daughter will have to enroll as first year high school also at the Holy Rosary. Our finances were in turmoil. A collected payment in form of a check from an exporting company whom I supplied with handicrafts, bounced. Don't have money since my wife is jobless since my kids were still young. Our apartment rental has long been overdue and we will be ejected (we really were ejected, eventually). Our light and water is in danger of cutting-off. That was my prayer that he will just help my children.

      My tears run-down to my cheeks because I just remembered that, that prayer of mine has long been answered because, God helped me for my children. When enrollment time came in May, a miracle happened. Ivy, the eldest passed a scholarship from the College of Commerce in University of San Jose Recoletos. My only son passed also a Norwegian shipping company sponsored scholarship at the University of Cebu. My youngest child who is about to go to high school after graduating from that same school, just opted to transfer at the nearby public high school for no choice.

      I only realized this after eleven years and eight months that that was an answered prayer. My children today have lives of their own after finishing their respective courses. The eldest Ivy, after years working in a stable hardware store opted to shift career in a well-paid call center industry got married to an engineer. My son even though he didn't finished his apprenticeship in a Norwegian shipping company because of an accident that cost his lower left leg, now enjoying his damage-claim that gave him his 2 houses and lot, bank deposit and monthly pension and now working also in a BPO industry. The youngest after her time in the College of Mass Communications, USJR, now works in a BPO industry. These are my graces from God and I am counting on these.

      I collected all my thoughts during that night. Those events in my life that lead me to become a church volunteer and a catechist are all God’s plan for me. It was just a sort of a calling. And I realized that it was him who made that call, for me to continue his unfinished mission, not in Guam, but to the much needy children in our town. I can endure all the hardships , far from my family, my loneliness , and I know I can fight these through his continuing intercession and the continuing intercession also of the Blessed Mother, the ever Virgin Mary, the co-Redemptor and Mediatrix of all Graces.

      And for those who may read this, please pray for me also.


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