NOW that the late Cebuano Archbishop Teofilo “Lolong” Camomot has been declared “Venerable” by Pope Francis, officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu in charge with the prelate’s cause for sainthood admitted that it may take some time before they can proceed towards the next step which is beatification.

Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, vice postulator for Camomot’s cause, told SunStar Cebu that despite collecting numerous testimonies from various people who claimed to have been healed through the late prelate’s intercession, none of them have qualified as a genuine miracle that would help push Camomot’s cause for sainthood.

The title “Venerable” is given to a deceased person, a servant of God, in the first of three stages leading to beatification and canonization.

Two miracles are required in order to push Camomot’s cause, one for his beatification and another for sainthood, according to Balili, who is also the parish priest of the Mary Help of Christians Parish in Barangay Buhisan, Cebu City.

But the miracles or “favors” that the devotees received reportedly because of Camomot’s intercession must be assessed, not just by church officials but also by medical doctors, to determine if what they experienced was truly a sign of the late prelate’s holiness.

“While the diocesan process has already been concluded, our work in promoting Camomot’s cause is far from over,” Balili said.

Testimonies

Balili said he and his fellow co-postulators have been able to gather several testimonies from many people who claimed to have been healed by Camomot’s intercession, but they didn’t pass the requirements needed to be declared as “miraculous” in nature. A postulator is a formal intermediary who promotes the cause of a servant of God for sainthood.

In order for a “miracle” to pass scrutiny, the person who was able to gain it should be healed of a life-threatening and incurable ailment and the person’s healing cannot be explained by doctors and science.

But Balili said while their search for a genuine miracle for Camomot continues, he urged the Catholic faithful to continue praying for the late prelate’s cause.

He also urged members of the clergy and the lay faithful to continue the propagation of Camomot’s cause to all parts of Cebu and the world as a way to increase interest in his cause.

For now, Balili said the Archdiocese is set to organize a thanksgiving mass to celebrate Camomot’s elevation to the status of “Venerable.”

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is set to meet with Balili, his co-postulators and other officials of the Archdiocese to discuss their plans for the mass.

If Camomot would become a saint, he would become the third Filipino saint and second Cebuano saint after St. Pedro Calungsod. The first two Filipino saints, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Calungsod, were elevated to sainthood because of their martyrdom.