An early Thanksgiving feast

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By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – In an early Thanksgiving feast, members of the Filipino-American community celebrated a mass in honor of the newest Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod.

The later afternoon religious ceremony on Saturday at the Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic church on Alta Drive drew hundreds of Filipino-Americans, the largest Asian ethnic group in Las Vegas.

It was highlighted by a candle procession and the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 5:30 p.m., in which the participants wore traditional Filipino costumes – terno for women and barong tagalog for men.

After the holy mass, the event culminated with a pot luck dinner that featured Filipino cuisine from various places in the islands.

Pedro Calungsod was canonized as a saint in the Catholic church on Oct. 21, 2012 in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI before thousands of pilgrims, including Filipinos from all over the world, some from Las Vegas.

He was a catechist who suffered martyrdom while performing his work in Guam in the 1600s. Not much else is known about him or his life, except for how he suffered his death on the hands of pagans.

He becomes the second Filipino saint, following San Lorenzo Ruiz, another catechist, who also gave his life for his faith.

To know more about the life of San Pedro Calungsod, visit his official website at



Follow Bert Eljera on Twitter @vegaspinoy60 and on Facebook at





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