Cory Aquino: Another Filipino Saint?

The buzz is getting louder as days after Tita Cry’s death roll by. The Roman Catholic voice of the buzz is beginning to overlay again our religious landscape, subtly summoning from the ground up to canonize her eventually as another possible lay saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz and Blessed Pedro Calungsod. The possibility alone of another saint from the rank of the laity is worth pondering: what is God doing in the midst of our loosening Catholic piety? In the midst of a tight religious hierarchy that continues to evolve since 4 centuries ago? Amidst the trend of the surging conversion to Evangelicalism both from the affluent entrepreneurs/celebrities and the extremely poor among us? Or in the midst of the seemingly silent knock of atheism on our door, drawing the attention of our postmodern Pinoy intellectuals?

As the campaign for the eventual canonization unfolds because it will, other questions will surely slow down even if insignificantly this post-death urgency: Is canonization necessary? Was Cory holy enough to pass the institutional requirements? How soon shall we witness the first miracle? Inquirer columnist John Nery wrote as a response to what seem to be the other side of the campaign – How do we know she wasn’t a saint?

At the height of the funeral mass at the Manila Cathedral, an ultra-high liturgy for that matter deepened by the profound homily of Fr. Arevalo (my Christology prof), the emotional eulogy of daughter Kris Aquino, the sweet and sorrowful farewell address of Bishop Soc Villegas, I sensed of the many hints of calling Tita Cory a saint in her own many ways. The eloquent preacher Bishop Chito Tagle no less compared her to a “wheat that falls off the ground” whose fruits we now enjoy in our democratic living. The gamut of her suffering while on earth and the wisdom and joy she had drawn out from it, a characteristic prominent among declared saints, seem to convince the spiritual director in Fr. Arevalo that Tita Cory is one among the exalted humble ones.

I am one in the faith that she will be one day. Generally, I have no qualms against the campaign because I understand Catholic signposts where there are – elaborate liturgy, Holy Rosary, institutional unity and support, faith in miracles, and culturally, some intellectual advantage that could be translated into some technological or rhetorical eloquence. Tita Cory apparently was embedded within these trademark expressions of Catholic spirituality. But typical of Catholic piety often sidetracking the direct engagement with the Holy Scriptures, I like to hear and see within this campaign how the Bible played an equal prominent formative role in Tita Cory’s life. It is equally attention-worthy I suppose and again, educational for the whole Filipino Catholic culture.

cory

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Photo credit: Keen

16 thoughts on “Cory Aquino: Another Filipino Saint?

  1. Kapatid, I also have some questions on this new proposition… I would like to wait it out if this will wither or not. It it does, then it is probably brought out by the high emotional surge that had its catharsis in the burial of Mrs. Aquio… Otherwise, then let it go through the normal course…

    You have pointed out one element which I also look forward to read or hear – the morphological function that the Bible has played in Mrs. Aquino’s life… I also would want to know of her reflections if there are any, regarding the Scriptures…

    • Tama ka kapatid – this is really a ‘high’ in our history and i can forgive myself for being so irritable when interrupted while watching the cortege. People are now thinking we can actually capitalize on this energy until next year’s elections, bringing such consciousness of a revered, credible figure into our voting precincts. Mel muses the canonization might be a long process and certainly we can leave this to the Mover of history. But on the human level, we have a Pope who is so much into dialogue with our secular culture, well-versed in the language of modernity, and it’s easy for me to think a secular idea as democracy and with someone who can saintly represent its ideal like our Tita Cory, the Pope might be more bent to expedite the process, who knows. Just my opinion…

  2. I will probably be, the one who would wait for a while and see what happens next, I guess, it is expected to happen, that they will think of making her a Saint, afterall, it hadn’t sunk in yet, the emotional tide is so strong right now, maybe after some time when this emotional tide died down, for a while and then if ever still it persisted…why not support it afterall, the public had known her as the yellow lady with her rosary on at all times.
    Furthermore, I would definitely agree with you DesertFishing,they needed to at least cement her legacy as a saint by at least validating Biblical significance and how she responded to its spiritual significance in her life as a whole.

    • IM – very well said! It’s been a while we haven’t had this beautiful feeling from within towards a public political figure and being part of the emotional wave is something i can grateful about also. I’m sure Global Pinoys like you are…Let’s keep hoping that her heroic and saintly example would become the closest inspiration for our generation…

  3. TO BE CANONIZED INTO SAINTHOOD COMES INTO 3 STEPS AND ONE OR MORE MIRACLE HAS TO HAPPENED AT THE 3RD STEP.

    STEP 1: SERVANT OF GOD AT THE BISHOP LEVEL
    THEN THE BODY LATER HAS TO BE EXHUMED OR EXAMINED.

    STEP 2A(POPE LEVEL): VENERABLE – NO FEAST DAY YET.
    2B: BLESSED – DESIGNATION FOR FEAST DAY.

    STEP 3: SAINTHOOD SANCTIFICATION: ONE OR MORE MIRACLE HAS TO HAPPENED. A FEAST DAY IS GIVEN ON THIS LEVEL.

  4. i dont believe she is worthy to be proclaimed saint… i admit that she was, in her lifetime, a good person… but she is as guilty as danding for the lives lost at hacienda luissita, she may not have ordered the executions, but she did nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice…

  5. Sana matapos na ang waiting period of five years. I’m excited to know whether this proposition will weather the test of time.

    • Thanks Salvador for dropping by. I do hope, too but declared or not, with all her shortcomings (though Gloria is shorter :-)), i believe her piety created some magic…

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