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By Juan L. Mercado
A Manileño priest is among the Capuchin martyrs who will be beatified on Oct. 13. The Congregation for Causes of Saints prefect will represent Pope Francis at the rites in Spain. Fr. Eugenio Sanz-Orozco Mortera will be known as “Blessed Jose Maria de Manila,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines stated.
By Michael L. Tan
Last year we celebrated the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of Jose Rizal. Next year it will be another birth sesquicentennial, this time for Andres Bonifacio and Mariano Ponce. In 2014 it will be Isabelo de los Reyes’ turn. All these revolutionaries were about the same age, joining the revolt against Spain in their late 20s.
By Roberto E.N Rivera SJ
TWO MEN. Two missionaries. Two martyrs. They lived their lives several centuries apart. But in a span of a few days, the two were brought together in a most fortuitous and meaningful way.
By Michael L. Tan
THE COMING elevation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle to the rank of a cardinal has been making news not just here but overseas, complete with talk of his becoming another “papabile” or possible Pope. He impressed many fellow bishops as well as other religious and lay observers during the just concluded Synod of Bishops when he called for a “humbler, simpler Church.”
THE RECENT canonization of Pedro Calungsod as a saint and the upcoming elevation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle to the ranks of cardinals in the Holy See will dramatically improve the image of the Philippines in the eyes of the international community. As one of the only two Christian countries in the Orient (Timor Leste is the other one), the Philippines, lately, has been reaping positive news and reviews in international media. This augurs well for the Philippines and for the Filipino people, especially overseas Filipinos.
By Randy David
When the Vatican proclaimed 2013 as the “Year of the Faith,” I wondered if this meant a rethinking of the ecumenism that has long characterized the Catholic Church’s respectful relationship with other faith communities. My interest as an observer of social institutions was heightened even more by the topic chosen for the Synod of Bishops recently convened in Rome: “the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith.”
By Rina Jimenez-David
“Saling pusa,” meaning an accidental participant, was how San Lorenzo Ruiz was once described. The first Filipino Catholic saint was martyred in Japan while accompanying a group of Spanish Dominicans, although there has been speculation that the sacristan or parish assistant at the Binondo Church was fleeing the country after being accused of killing a romantic rival. But “saling pusa” might well also be a “title” attached to San Pedro Calungsod, our latest saint, whom Church authorities want to proclaim as the patron saint of the youth and overseas workers. Records place his age at 14 when he accompanied a group of Jesuit missionaries to Guam (once known as the Ladrones Islands or Island of Thieves, but renamed the Marianas), there to preach and baptize the native Chamorros.
By Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD
The story is told about an elderly couple who were discussing how a lot of things have changed in this world and how they could hardly keep in step with the fast worldly stride. The wife said: “Remember when Apple and Blackberry were fruits? Now I heard they are something else!” To which the husband replied: “I remember that Samsung was the husband of Delilah. Now I heard it’s something else, too!”
Today is the feast day of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and Filipino Catholics may well connect the celebration with the excitement over the impending canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. A Visayan catechist of the 17th century who was killed by the Chamorros of the Marianas (today’s Guam), Pedro is set to be raised to the altar for wider veneration only a little more than a decade after his beatification in 2001. He follows more or less the path of the Filipino protomartyr, San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, who was beatified in 1981 and canonized in 1987, in one of the swiftest canonizations in history.
This is a rejoinder to the letter “Editorial hailed Catholicism in the Philippines as it should be” (Inquirer, 11/7/11), where the writer, Charito Maranan-Montecillo, said she was “glad that the Inquirer took the initiative to explain to our readers the processes of beatification and canonization in the wake of the forthcoming canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.”