Pope Francis declares Bishop Obviar ‘venerable’

Pope Francis declares Bishop Obviar ‘venerable’

Bishop Alfredo Obviar, who was born in Lipa, Batangas in 1889 and died in 1978, has been declared venerable.

By Roy Lagarde

November 8, 2018

Manila, Philippines

Pope Francis issued a decree Thursday advancing the sainthood cause of Bishop Alredo Obviar, declaring him “venerable”.

The pope recognized that Obviar, the first bishop of Lucena, lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

The announcement makes the bishop, who died in 1978 at the age of 89, two steps closer to sainthood.

The pontiff would have to recognize a miracle attributed to the late bishop’s intercession in order for him to be beatified. A second miracle would be needed for canonization.

The cause for sainthood of Obviar was introduced by the Lucena diocese. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints granted the “Nihil Obstat” (nothing hinders) to the diocesan inquiry of his life in 2001.

Few years later, the decree of validity was issued in 2007 marking the start of its “Roman Phase”.

In 2014, the “Positio” was submitted and the review of Theologians was concluded early last year.

Born in Lipa, Batangas, Obviar was ordained a priest in 1919. In 1944, he was named as the first Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa.

He was known as the founder of the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese, a religious congregation of nuns with missions across the Philippines and in some countries.

In 1969, he was appointed as bishop of Lucena, a post he served until his retirement in 1976.