Calungsod, Pedro, Bl.
CALUNGSOD, PEDRO, BL.
Also known as "El Visayo," lay catechist and martyr; b. Visayas region of the Philippines c. 1654–58; d. Tomhon on San Juan, Ladrones Islands (now Guam, Marianas Islands) April 2, 1672. The only documentation concerning Calungsod's life is found in the materials about his companion in martyrdom, Blessed Fr. Diego Luis de san vitores. Calungsod received his education in minor seminary of Loboc, Bohol, where he learned doctrine, Spanish, and Latin.
Arriving on Guam with the first Jesuit missionaries (June 16, 1668), fourteen-year-old Pedro assisted San Vitores in the evangelization the Marianas Islands, then under the Filipino Diocese of Cebu. During the first six months, the missionaries counted 13,000 baptisms; another 20,000 natives were under instruction. For four years Pedro assisted by teaching Christian hymns and the catechism and serving at Mass until the day the priest and catechist encountered the local chieftain, Matapang and his friend Hirao. Matapang was enraged that San Vitores, at the request of the chief's wife, had baptized his daughter against his will. Pedro had an opportunity to escape, but threw himself in the path of Hirao's spear, offering himself in a fruitless effort to save the priest. San Vitores's and Calungsod's bodies were stripped, tied together to a large rock, and thrown into the Tomhon Bay.
Calungsod's cause was initiated following the beatification (Oct. 6, 1985) of San Vitores, whom he was shielding. Following the declaration of Calungsod as a martyr on Jan. 27, 2000, he was beatified by John Paul II on March 5, 2000. He is the patron of Filipino youth.
Feast: April 1 (Philippines).
Bibliography: Father San Vitores, His Life, Times, and Martyrdom, ed. e. g. johnston (Agana, Guam 1979). c. g. arevalo, Pedro Calungsod (Manila 1999). f. garcÍa, Sanvitores in the Marianas, tr. f. plaza (Mangilao, Guam 1980). a. del ledesma, Mission in the Marianas: An Account of Father Diego Luis de Sanvítores and His Companions, 1669–1670, tr. ward barrett of Noticia de los progressos de nuestra Santa Fe, en las Islas Marianas … desde 15 de mayo de 1669 (Minneapolis 1975). i. leyson, Pedro Calungsod: Prospects of a Teenage Filipino (Cebu, Philippines 1999). j. m. s. luengo, Pedro Calungsod: The Visayo protomartyr in Tumhon, Guam (Tubigon, Bohol, Philippines 1998). p. murillo velarde, The "Reducción" of the Islands of the Ladrones, the Discovery of the Islands of the Palaos, and Other Happenings, tr. f. e. plaza (Mangilao, Guam 1987). j. n. tylenda, Jesuit Saints & Martyrs (Chicago 1998), 337–39.
[k. i. rabenstein]