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Pope Francis declares Philippines’ archbishop ‘venerable’

The Venerable Teofilo Bastide Camomot, former Archbishop of Cebu, Philippines and Founder of the Congregation of Santa Teresa (1914-1988). (Photo: Archdiocese of Cebu)

Pope Francis has permitted to grant the title of Venerable to Teofilo Bastide Camomot (former Archbishop of Cebu, Philippines).

On May 21, Pope authorized Marcello Cardinal Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints in the Vatican, to promulgate a decree on the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Teofilo Bastide Camomot, granting him the title of Venerable.

Venerable is a title given to a deceased person recognized formally by the pope as having lived a heroically virtuous life or offered their life.

A miracle is needed for Camomot to become a “blessed” and another miracle so he will be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

Late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot of Cebu was born on March 3, 1914, in Carcar, Cebu. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 15, 1941. He was nominated Auxiliary Bishop of Archbishop Jose Cuenco of Jaro. The episcopal consecration took place at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu on March 26, 1955. 

Three years after, on June 10, 1958, he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Archbishop James Hayes of Cagayan de Oro. 

He founded the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Blessed Eucharist in Misamis Occidental in November 1959. This would later become the Congregation of Santa Teresa. 

After staying for 12 years in Cagayan de Oro, he resigned as Coadjutor Archbishop and returned to Cebu in 1970. 

He died in a vehicular accident on September 27, 1988. He was then 74 years old. His dedication to the poor and detachment from material possessions were the trademarks of his ministry, said a press statement from the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Known for his fame of sanctity during his life, his death and after his death, the diocesan process of the cause of his beatification and canonization was opened for the first time in the archdiocese of Cebu on December 27, 2010, during his incumbency of Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. 

Upon the advice of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Jose Palma authorized the reopening of the diocesan process on the life, virtues and fame of sanctity of the Servant of God Archbishop Teofilo Camomot. 

The process started on January 5, 2016, until March 2, 2017. 

In the course of this process, 45 witnesses who knew him personally were interviewed. 

The Congregation of the Causes of Saints granted the Decree of Validity of the Diocesan Process on November 19, 2015. The “Positio” (position) on the life, virtues and fame of sanctity of Archbishop Camomot was submitted to the Congregation in 2020. 

The Special Congress composed of nine Theological Consultants gave their unanimous approval on the heroic virtues of Camomot on October 21, 2021. 

The Cardinals and Bishops in the Ordinary Session of May 3, 2022, chaired by Marcello Cardinal Semeraro, have affirmed that the Servant of God exercised the theological, cardinal and concomitant virtues to a heroic degree. 

After the presentation of these facts to the Supreme Pontiff Francis through an accurate report of Marcello Cardinal Semeraro, on May 21, 2022, the Pope, having accepted and approved the decision of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, ordered that the Decree to this effect be made public and placed among the Acts of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

If Pope approves his sainthood in due course of time, Comomot will become the Philippines’ third saint next to San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila and San Pedro Calungsod–both laypersons.

If his cause for sainthood will be approved by the Pope, Camomot will become the Philippines’ third saint next to San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila and San Pedro Calungsod – both laypersons. 


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