With excitement running through my body, I packed my suitcase for checking-in on the early flight from Berlin to Rome on Saturday, October 20, 2012. I’m with a small group representing the Philippine Community headed by Teody Reichel and our chaplain, Fr. Simon Boiser, SVD. I have never dreamed that I would be in my entire life a witness to the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino to be honored as a saint, by Pope Benedict XVI. Calungsod was only 17 years old when he died as a martyr while serving the Jesuit mission in the Landrones Islands on April 2, 1672.
After check-in at our respective hotels, we could hardly wait to explore the historic sites of Rome. The next day, we were off to St. Peter’s Square at 5:30 a.m before the gates open at 8:00 a.m. To our big surprise, people were waiting in-line even three hours earlier than us. While inside the square, we were so proud as Filipinos to see the Philippine flag was among the seven national flags flurring at the flagpoles.
Patiently waiting for this moment, the Pope finally appeared at 10:00 a.m. It was very touching to see him in his grandiose attire but it was more his eminent presence that electrified the crowd.
Calungsod was one of the seven persons from other countries canonized on this memorable day. Cardinal Ricardo Vidal was among the other thousands of Filipinos from the Philippines and migrants mostly from Europe who attended the holy ceremony. Cardinal Vidal, who happens to be my uncle, devoted a lot of his time and hard work in gathering intellectual proofs and trustful hopes of Calungsod’s martyrdom and eventually sainthood.
Names of participants from Berlin: Alegria Rettig, Barbara Fe Boscheinen, Carmel Rangott, Marlin Busel, Tess Prange, Alice Jabonillo-Pfuhl, Elena Kuhlmann, Elizabeth Jaspers, Delia Kunze, Dolores Scherler, Ligaya Riess, Narcissa Poch, Rita Schnick, Esther Lehmann, Linda Trümper, Ralph Lehmann, Arlene Bongert, Gingging Schulz, Linda Glawe, Mayette Axmann, Raquel Schulz, Rina Mede, Ruby Victor, Angie Peters, Cora Pajaron, Flora Guangco, Gloria Lange, Merci Schäfer, Salud Müller, Estela Green, Leonida Fischer, Rey Ulgasan, Susan Mews, Zosima Meierhof, Analie Baranquil, Edwin Mabunay, Eladia Silang, Elvira Schnabel, Josefina Sandoval, Joyce Mabunay, Julia Rumenap, Ma.Amy Bellen, Mary Ann Leonero, Maxima Pilapil, Vieto Pilapil, Yolanda Richter, Emy Brandeis, Maria Elena Wolgemuth, Josephine Boedecker, Lory Hablado Costrau, Rica Ligan, Wolfram Leidimelia, Prose Hacker, Sixta Roloff, Evarista Wegener, Fe Gerber, Imelda Jahl, Jacqueline Paust, Laurencia Geißler, Leonisa Duschl, Ludy Kielgas, Rhodora Cobres, Salve Vietz, Teody Llanes-Reichel, Salome Stenke.
For those who descended in Rome for this occasion, most agreed that it was a worthy experience.
RHODORA "OYIE" COBRES