Vatican Names Second Filipino Saint

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CEBU CITY, Philippines--The Philippines now has a second Catholic saint. Pope Benedict XVI has canonized 17th century Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,
announced the news at St. Peter's Basilica following a ceremony in which 22 international bishops were elevated to the rank of cardinal.

The late Pope John Paul II, also on the road to sainthood, canonized Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila in 1987, as the first Filipino saint. Both Calungsod, who hailed from Cebu, and Ruiz were laypersons. Ruiz, a parish scribe and former altar boy born in Binondo, Manila, was martyred in Japan in 1637.

Calungsod was born in 1655 in what was then the Diocese of Cebu, which covered the islands of Panay and Mindanao, as well as the Pacific island of Guam. A lay catechist, he died at age 17 in Guam while trying to defend his fellow missionaries, including Jesuit priest and now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, when an indigenous group attacked them on April 2, 1672. Calungsod was struck by a spear and his skull was split by a machete blow.