A grand homecoming awaits the statue of new Filipino saint Pedro Calungsod, which is expected to arrive in Manila Thursday afternoon.
The statue is to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport past 4 p.m. aboard a Cathay Pacific CX-919 flight, radio dzBB reported.
It is to be brought to the University of Santo Tomas in Manila via a motorcade that is expected to pass Roxas Boulevard and Manila's Quiapo district, the report added.
On its Twitter account, the UST Student Council said the image of San Pedro Calungsod will be enshrined inside the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church (UST Chapel) until Friday.
Last Oct. 21, Pope Benedict XVI formally named Calungsod a saint. Calungsod is the second Filipino saint after Lorenzo Ruiz, who was canonized in 1987.
Earlier, the Philippine National Police said it had drawn up security plans for the statue of Calungsod, once it returns to the country Thursday.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said they will also secure the statue when it makes its thanksgiving tour of dioceses.
The statue of Calungsod was flown to Rome
for the canonization of the Filipino teenage martyr.
Last August, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said the statue of Calungsod will have a nationwide tour before a national thanksgiving celebration in Cebu.
CBCP Assistant Secretary General Fr. Marvin Mejia said Calungsod's official image will return to the Philippines October 25 to start the "Duaw Nasud" visits.
“For the first night, the image will be in the University of Sto. Tomas (UST). The statue will visit some dioceses in the National Capital Region (NCR) such as the Archdiocese of Manila, Dioceses of Parañaque, Pasig, Cubao, Antipolo and Caloocan before it will visit dioceses in Northern Luzon down to the Bicol Region,” said Mejia, who is also a member of the Cebu commission for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
A motorcade will start at airport to the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral for a proper turnover marking the start of the "Duaw Nasud."
On October 31, the image will be brought to Villamor Air Base where the Military Ordinariate is located before it will go to Vigan on November 2.
From Vigan, it will brought to Legazpi, then the Visayas and Mindanao from November 13 to 27.
The image will return to Cebu on November 27 in time for the Triduum Masses leading to the National Thanksgiving on November 30. –KG, GMA News