ANTIGUA, Guatemala (CNS): Behind the crumbling, elaborate baroque facades of Antigua, preparations are under way for the canonisation of the town’s favourite son, Blessed Pedro de San Jose Betancur.
Hermano Pedro, as he is known, is revered throughout Guatemala and Central America for his miraculous curing of the sick and dedication to the poor.
Pope John Paul II is scheduled to canonise Hermano Pedro July 30 in Guatemala City.
Officials in Antigua, where Hermano Pedro’s remains are interred, have set up a special schedule to handle the expected influx of pilgrims.
So many pilgrims are determined to visit Hermano Pedro’s remains and altar at the Church of San Francisco in Antigua that a schedule was set up to allot the weekend days preceding the Pope’s visit to people from different areas of the country and those from other spots in Central America.
Pedro de San Jose Betancur, born on March 19, 1626, in Spain’s Canary Islands, journeyed to the New World at the age of 24, eventually arriving in what was then Guatemala City, now Antigua, in 1651.