Archbishop Apuron Speaks

Archbishop Anthony Apuron, Guam

ZENIT: How do you feel about the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod?

Archbishop Apuron: I think it’s a moment of pride. I know for the Filipinos, and especially [those] in the Visayan region and just today before the mass several of the bishops said, “We should really thank you, you should not apologize for us (the Chamorros) killing Pedro Calungsod but thank [you] for giving us a saint.” So now the universal Church will really have a saint to look up to and Pedro is 18 years old. He died about a minute and a half before [Blessed Diego Luis de] San Vitores because they killed him first to get to Blessed Diego. So he really is the proto-martyr and so we call him a precursor in heaven for Blessed Diego because he left and went before him to heaven to his martyrdom. So it’s really a moment of joy, we’re very happy for all the Philippines but especially now for the universal Church. I hope that he can really be model for young people today that we’re all called to be saints someday. And for Pedro it came at a very early age of 18 years old, the estimated age of when he died because he was 14 when he left the Philippines and when he came to Guam he lived there for 4 years, served the missions, faithful to the priests, and the Jesuit missionaries and to the Church. And so now really he is in heaven with Blessed Diego, although he beat him to sainthood, but that’s ok. Hopefully, someday Blessed Diego will be canonized a saint.

An excerpt from an interview with the Archbishop of Guam by Junno Arocho (Zenit.org)

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