VATICAN CITY, Oct 21, 2012 – The sight is enough to give one goose bumps – Bl. Pedro Calungsod’s portrait, which hangs in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, occupies the second highest place of honor, among the portraits of the six other soon-to-be saints to be canonized this morning.
Pilgrims in Rome are introduced to the seven new saints through the full-color tapestries unfurled on the balconies of St. Peter’s Basilica with Calungsod’s image hanging third from the right, the second highest place of honor, according to Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, Vice-Postulator for the Canonization Cause of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
He explained that the center balcony is the highest place of honor, with the next ranks moving out from the center.
The “ranking” is decided by three factors — first, martyrs rank higher than non-martyrs; bishops rank higher than priests, who rank higher than religious, and laypeople.
The six other Blesseds who will be canonized today with Blessed Pedro Calungsod include Blessed Jacques Berthieu, a Jesuit missionary in Madagascar who was martyred; Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth; Blessed Maria Carmen Salles, foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception; Blessed Marianne Cope, Sister of Saint Francis of Syracuse; Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, companion of the Jesuit missionaries in North America; and Blessed Anne Schaeffer, a German laywoman and mystic. [Aaron James R. Veloso]