Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal
BORN on 6 February 1931, ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 17 March 1956, elevated to the holy Episcopacy on 30 November 1971 and eventually ranked with the eminent status of a Cardinal—these are the key chapters in the life of His Eminence, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, D.D. who recently died but in fact becomes more alive in memory, appreciation and admiration of those who knew him, those who related with him, those who worked with him. Now it can be said with all sincerity and candor: He was one of a kind—a singular example hard to emulate.
His humility was deep and endearing. His kindness was exemplary and impressive. It can be said that he was a good example to all, a well-loved figure to those who worked with him. Anger and pride appeared foreign to his action and reaction patterns. Humility was his trademark. Silently he worked and silently he did much for the welfare of the people, for the good of the Church. So it is that his life and examples are not easy to follow even but considering their saintly nature and spirit.
Tirelessly he worked; assiduously he made researches. He asked people here and there, gathered necessary evidences from these and those places. Eventually he made representations to Rome whereto he went back and forth to follow-up his concerns, to accomplish what was required of him in view of his concern and finality. There were many standard and particular demands asked of him to fulfill and/or to verify. All these he did and no one in the Philippines has done the same—neither before nor nowadays. It is in no way easy to follow his good and holy examples.
So it is that the highly singular and blessed fruits of his labors can be rightfully considered as practically inimitable: the Canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod—the two and only two Filipinos elevated to the status of Sainthood! No one, and this means no one in this country as a whole has ever done such a singular feat. And if this distinct achievement were not enough, the good, kind and holy Cardinal had already extended his hands and spirit to the admirable effort to have another Filipino elevated to Sainthood: Teofilo B. Camomot—a man of the cloth who died in a vehicular accident on 27 September 1988.
So it was that when it became known that Cardinal Vidal died, there were people who prayed for him, viz., for the eternal repose of his soul. But there were also people who prayed to him, i.e., for his intervention on behalf of others for God’s mercy and forgiveness, for His help for their various needs as well as for His assistance in their different trials and difficulties. So it is that the good, kind and holy Cardinal is not merely prayed for on the occasion of “All Souls’ Day” but also prayed to during “All Saints’ Day”.
Cardinal Vidal: Please pray for us—please!