Let’s play spot the difference.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday engaged the Catholic faithful in a photo hunt to find the differences in the images of teenage Visayan martyr Blessed Pedro Calungsod and the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz.
Calungsod will be canonized in Rome on Oct. 21.
The image of Calungsod remains unfamiliar, as the young sacristan and missionary catechist died without leaving any record of how he looked like. He has often been mistaken for Ruiz, the CBCP said, noting that many churches bear both their images.
Ruiz, who was canonized in 1987, is commonly portrayed wearing a camisa de chino (a Chinese collarless, long-sleeve T-shirt) and black pants, with most of his images showing him with hands clasped in prayer while holding a rosary.
Calungsod’s statue portrays him wearing the same white chemise and pants but with palm leaves and the “Doctrina Christiana” or “Book of Catechism” in hand.
“There are three things that will help you distinguish Calungsod’s statue or portrait from that of Lorenzo’s,” said Fr. Marvin Mejia, assistant secretary general of the CBCP, pointing to Calungsod’s portrait and statue, which he said were products of artists’ interpretation.
“Blessed Calungsod doesn’t look Chinese, while Lorenzo Ruiz has Chinese distinction,” he said.
“Second, he is holding the ‘Doctrina Christiana’ and palm leaves, with the former depicting his being a catechist and the latter, his martyrdom,” Mejia added.
“Lastly, notice that Calungsod’s feet are not positioned firmly on the ground. One foot is slightly raised because it shows his being a missionary, a young man on the move. It shows his dynamism,” Mejia explained.
The CBCP official also said that the 2-foot-tall version of the wooden image of Calungsod will be taken to Rome for the canonization rites.
Calungsod was among the first to serve on a Jesuit mission organized by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Ladrones Islands in the Western Pacific, Marianas, on June 16, 1668.
On April 2, 1672, he and Father Diego were killed by two villagers in Tumhon, Guam, after baptizing some natives.