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Pope highlights the life of Pedro Calungsod, new saint who was martyred at 18

“Pedro Calungsod was born around the year sixteen fifty-four, in the Visayasregion of the Philippines. His love for Christ inspired him to train as a catechist with the Jesuit missionaries there. In sixteen sixty-eight, along with other young catechists, he accompanied Father Diego Luís de San Vitores to the Marianas Islands in order to evangelize the Chamorro people. ;Life there was hard and the missionaries also faced persecution arising from envy andslander. Pedro, however, displayed deep faith and charity and continued to catechize his manyconverts, giving witness to Christ by a life of purity and dedication to the Gospel. Uppermostwas his desire to win souls for Christ, and this made him resolute in accepting martyrdom. Hedied on the second of April, sixteen seventy-two. Witnesses record that Pedro could have fledfor safety but chose to stay at Father Diego’s side. The priest was able to give Pedro absolution before he himself was killed. May the example and courageous witness of Pedro Calungsod inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and to win souls for God!”