Ilocos makes bid for own saint

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Monday, January 14, 2013


AFTER Cebu and Manila, the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in Ilocos Sur is now looking to have its own homegrown saint in the person of former Lipa Bishop Alfredo Verzosa.

According to a report by the official news agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia has recently opened the beatification process at the Conversion of St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

“The cause serves as a challenge to Ilocanos and to all Filipinos to keep our faith and to strengthen it by the grace of God, especially in the Year of Faith,” CBCP News quoted Nueva Segovia Archbishop Ernesto Salgado.

Heading the Verzosa beatification cause is its Postulator Fr. Samson S. Silloriquez OAR, who is also the Postulator General of Augustinian Recollects, with Msgr. Gary Noel S. Formoso as Vice-Postulator.

Auxiliary Bishop David William Antonio was appointed Chairperson of the Theological Committee, while Fr. Ericson M. Josué, the biographer of Verzosa, was named Chairperson for the Historical Committee.

Under the Church’s canonization process, an inquiry is set to focus a candidate's heroic acts and virtues before they give the title “Venerable”.

Once proclaimed Venerable, a miracle attributed through the intercession of that candidate would have to be recognized by the Church before she can be beatified or earn the title “Blessed”.

Another miracle would again be required for the blessed to be proclaimed a “Saint”.

Born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Bishop Verzosa was the first Roman Catholic bishop to hail from Ilocos.

He was ordained the first Filipino bishop of the then Diocese of Lipa on January 20, 1917.

Verzosa was said to have survived the massacre of the Japanese in Lipa during the liberation of Batangas at the end of World War II.

In 1923, he founded the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart (MCHS), a diocesan congregation for women.

Later in life, he witnessed a miracle during the apparition of Mary, Mediatrix of all Grace in the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa from 1948 to 1950.

After the apparitions in Lipa, he was forced to retire and then spent the remaining years of his life in Vigan.

Verzosa died in Vigan on June 27, 1954.

To note, San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, hails from Cebu while the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz, is from Manila. (HDT/Sunnex)

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