Pope Francis declares first Lucena bishop ‘venerable’
The Holy Father Pope Francis has issued a decree Thursday advancing the sainthood cause of Bishop Alredo Maria Aranda Obviar, the first bishop of Lucena, declaring him “venerable.”
The announcement brings the bishop, who was declared Servant of God, on March 6, 2001, two steps closer to sainthood.
“The Pope recognized that Obviar, the first bishop of Lucena, lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way. 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,” said a Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News post.
"It is a great News for us, especially our Diocese of Sorsogon because the MCST (Missionary Catechists of St. Therese), founded by Bp. Obviar, are our partners in the Ministry of Catechesis and Family and Human Life for many years," Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said in an interview.
Born in Lipa, Batangas on August 29, 1889, 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.