TUMON, GUAM — WHILE GUAM might be on your bucket list as a place to visit for either shopping, beach bumming, sightseeing or cultural immersion, it is different for this band of Filipino devotees. Serving as the first formal pilgrimage in honor of Saint Pedro Calungsod, the devotees traveled all the way from the Philippines in May 2018 to hear a mass for the Filipino martyr.
“It was the trip of a lifetime,” described one of the pilgrims as posted by http://www.vacationguam.us, which spearheaded the pilgrimage. Calungsod is just one of the two Filipino-born Roman Catholic Saints. This American territory, which is just 3-and a-half hour plane ride from Manila is the place where the then young Catechist Pedro Calungsod was martyred along with Spanish missionary Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores.
[The featured photo depicts the act of baptism on Guam led by Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores. The then catechist Pedro Calungsod wasn’t on the photo but the monument marks the place where the two were killed in 1672. Photo from kagay-an.com].
The pilgrims celebrated a special mass at the shrine of San Pedro and Blessed Diego located in the oceanside village of Tumon, where the two were slain by native non-believers in 1672. The group was captivated by the stories of long-time Guam priest and historian, Fr. Francis Hezel, about how San Pedro and Blessed Diego were persecuted for baptizing the Guam converts. Guam and the Philippines share the same history of Spanish rule and Catholic conversion.
The pilgrims also had a wonderful time touring several historic church sites in charming southern Guam, from the picturesque Merizo church and bell tower, to the restored church in Umatac, the village by the bay where the explorer Magellan landed.
Another of the many highlights of the trip for the pilgrims was attending Mass at the Hagatna Cathedral Basilica in Guam’s capital city. This is also the home of the Archdiocese and the Most Reverend Archbishop Michael Byrnes. The group was thrilled to meet the Archbishop and share some time with him after Mass, which was concelebrated by the two Filipino priests, Fr. Reynaldo Flores and Fr. Rogelio Positar, who accompanied the group.
This trip was put together by Tripventures International and Vacation Guam.US in cooperation with the Guam Visitors Bureau, United Airlines and Pacific Star Resort & Spa. For more information about how your group can join the next pilgrimage to Guam to visit the shrine of Filipino St. Pedro Calungsod, please visit www.vacationguam.us.