The Virtues of Pedro Calungsod
Of the cardinal virtues which Pedro Calungsod possessed, fortitude shines out clearly in his courage and perseverance to teach the Christian Faith to the Chamorros even in the midst of hostility, in his resolve to stay with and assist the superior of the Mission, Fr. de San Vitores, even in the time of adversity. Fortitude finally made him face a violent death on account of the Faith.
Pedro Calungsod was poor in spirit for he was able to leave everything behind at a tender age—beloved family and homeland and a convenient life—all in order to proclaim the Gospel to the Chamorros.
Pedro Calungsod never gave in to the immoral practice of the young male prostitutes in the Marianas at that time, as some of his acquaintances did.
Prayerfulness. Despite the difficult life and tight schedule in the Mission, Pedro Calungsod never neglected his prayers which kept him faithful to Christ.
Strong devotion to the Eucharist.
Pedro Calungsod never went out into a missionary journey without first receiving Holy communion which made him fearless in the face of dangers.
Pedro Calungsod never went out into a missionary journey without first confessing his sins to the priest and receiving the absolution. That made him always ready to face death anytime.
It was because of his faith that Pedro Calungsod studied the truths of the Catholic Faith. At the same time, it was his knowledge of the truths of the Faith that helped deepen his faith. Fr. de San Vitores chose men of deep faith as his companion missionaries in the Marianas who would evangelize the Chamorros more by example than by words, that is, through faith translated into good works. Pedro Calungsod must have deeply possessed and lived the Christian Faith because he was among those chosen by Fr. de San Vitores to be his companion missionaries in the Marianas. Even more, Pedro Calungsod must have lived this virtue in a very remarkable way so much so that perhaps he must have been one of Fr. de San Vitores’ best, most trusted and closest collaborators because it is said that he was a long-time companion of the said Father, meaning to say, that he was always working side by side with Fr. de San Vitores. This becomes plainly seen when, out of the several missionaries, Pedro Calungsod was chosen by Fr. de San Vitores to be his lone companion during that critical moment of the Mission and in that fateful journey to Tomhom where they both gave their final witness to the Christian Faith.
Putting aside these considerations, we can still say that Pedro Calungsod had a deep faith in God by the mere fact that he spent his young life in and for the Christian Faith through teaching catechism in the Mission despite difficulties and dangers.
Finally, Pedro Calungsod was killed by the enemies of the Faith. Indeed, he professed his faith until death, a fact which gave more courage to Fr. de San Vitores to die also for the same Faith.
It may be said that Pedro Calungsod’s perseverance in the difficult and troubled Mariana Mission was sustained by his Christian hope for eternal salvation and happiness after such earthly trials. He himself must have communicated this hope to others more by example than by words. In a particular way, if his death gave more courage to Fr. de San Vitores to die also for the Faith, it can be said that Pedro Calungsod demonstrated this hope through his willing acceptance of martyrdom.
The foundation of all the goodness of Pedro Calungsod cannot be but his great love for God and love for his fellowmen as manifested in the following facts which also reveal his other virtues:
—in his zeal to join and help the foreign Mission in the Marianas, a zeal which must have been inspired also by the example of Fr. de San Vitores;
—in his dedicated service in the Mission —a quality that may have even edified the Superior of the Mission, Fr. de San Vitores;
—in his selflessness in risking his young life in a troubled far-from-home Mission;
—in his perseverance in serving the difficult Mission right from the start in 1668 up to his violent death in 1672;
—in living what he taught, so much so that he was remembered to be a virtuous catechist;
—in his heroic obedience to Fr. de San Vitores, accompanying the latter in an apostolic task even in the time of imminent danger when he ought to have taken refuge immediately in the fortified Residence; and in not carrying any weapon for self protection as willed by Fr. de San Vitores;
—in his courage to teach the Christian Faith to the Chamorros even in the midst of hostility;
—in his faithfulness to Fr. de San Vitores whose mission he always supported and whom he never abandoned even in the time of adversity, thereby imitating Jesus Christ who showed the greatest love in laying down his life for his friends (cf. Jn. 15:13);
—in his humility in not using his physical prowess to defend himself or to defeat his aggressors;
—in his non-violent response to his aggressors;
—in shedding his blood for the Christian Faith, thereby proving himself to be a good soldier of Christ;
—in being an edifying Christian, for his death even gave new courage to Fr. de San Vitores to die also for the Christian Faith.