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St. Calungsod misses first feast day

MANILA (Agencies) : The man of the moment in the Philippine saint stakes, St. Pedro Calungsod, has missed out on celebrating his first feast day.

However, Father Conegundo Garganta, the director of the Commission on Youth, is keen that young people do not miss out on a chance to relive a bit of the euphoria and enthusiasm that surrounded his canonisation.

He added that it is especially important that they reflect on what they learned about themselves during that time.

His feast is listed in the Church calendar for April 2, but because that date fell on the Monday after Easter Sunday this year, or the beginning of the Octave of Easter, it was not able to be deferred.

So the new Filipino saint on the block, who was only canonised on October 21 last year, has missed his first celebration.

However, not to be daunted, the Federation of National Youth Organisations put on a special celebration for March 23, just before Easter proper got underway.

Filipino communities in other places are also being encouraged not to miss out on celebrating the feast of the 17th century missionary, who died for his faith in Guam, and to arrange some type of activity to mark the occasion on whatever day they can.

“We invite young people to participate in whatever way they can,” Father Garganta said. He added that the main thing is not to forget his example of faith and dedication to friendship.

He pointed out that marking the memorial could also be a good opportunity for young people to read about the life of the saint and look back on how his canonisation in October last year affected them personally.

“How is the fire, the enthusiasm now after several months?” he asked, posing the question to the many young people who just six months ago got really fired up at the news of a second Filipino saint was to be declared.

He said, “Special prayers, coming up with Calungsod-inspired slogans and maybe a stage play of St. Pedro’s life would be ideal ways to celebrate his memorial.”

Officially, St. Calungsod’s feast day was moved to March 23 in the Philippine Church calendar, the Saturday before Palm Sunday.

However , the message is clear. It is worthwhile making the effort to commemorate his feast in your own way.