MANILA, Philippines - The official statue of Blessed Pedro Calungsod which will be brought from Cebu City to the Vatican for the Filipino martyr's canonization will be flown as a passenger.
An article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website revealed that the three-foot tall statue of the next Filipino saint will be flown as a "passenger" along with a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Fr. Charles Jayme, was designated by CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as the official custodian of Calungsod's image.
"The image will be among the passengers and not as cargo. We'll be seated together," Jayme said.
He said Cathay Pacific offered to fly the statue as a passenger instead of just an ordinary hand baggage or cargo.
The priest said the image will be placed inside an encasement made of Styrofoam.
"I really take it as a blessing and gift from God being chosen for this. This is a humbling experience for me," he said.
"I did not expect this, so it challenges me more to live up to the virtues of Blessed Pedro Calungsod," Jayme said.
Several activities are also lined up before the image will be flown to Rome on October 16 at 12:30 p.m.
The priest said that from the archbishop's residence in Cebu City, the image will be brought to a nearby shrine named after Calungsod for a Mass at 6:30pm on October 15.
The following day, Jayme said the image will be carried from the shrine to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for another liturgical celebration at 4:30 a.m.
A motorcade will follow at around 8 a.m. sending off the image from the cathedral to Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.
After the canonization, the image will be flown back to the Philippines for the "Duaw Nasud" to major cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao from October 25 to November 27.
The image is expected to be in Cebu City again before the Nov. 30 thanksgiving Mass for Pedro Calungsod's sainthood.