Pope de­clares first Lu­cena bishop 'ven­er­a­ble'

The Freeman - - NATION -

Pope Fran­cis is­sued a de­cree on Thurs­day declar­ing the first bishop of Lu­cena, Al­fredo Ob­viar, a "ven­er­a­ble."

This means that the pope rec­og­nized that Ob­viar lived the "Chris­tian virtues in a heroic way," ac­cord­ing to CBCP News. This is the sec­ond step in the process of be­com­ing a saint.

Ob­viar passed the first step in 2001 when the Con­gre­ga­tion for the Causes of Saints granted the ni­hil ob­stat (noth­ing stands in the way), or per­mis­sion to ini­ti­ate the cause for Be­at­i­fi­ca­tion and Can­on­iza­tion.

Ob­viar was born in Lipa, Batan­gas, in 1889. He was the for­mer Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lu­cena, in Que­zon province. He founded the Mis­sion­ary Cat­e­chists of St. Therese and died on Oct. 1, 1978.

Ac­cord­ing to the Catholic news out­let Eter­nal Word Tele­vi­sion Net­work, af­ter be­ing de­clared ven­er­a­ble, a first mir­a­cle would have to be found and at­trib­uted to prayers made to the in­di­vid­ual af­ter their death.

The prayers are ev­i­dence of in­ter­ces­sory pow­ers, ac­cord­ing to EWTN. Af­ter the first mir­a­cle is ap­proved, the ven­er­a­ble is then "be­at­i­fied."

The fi­nal step is can­on­iza­tion when the sec­ond mir­a­cle is ap­proved and the "blessed" is el­e­vated to saint­hood.

If Ob­viar would make it through the fi­nal step, he would be the third saint from the Philip­pines af­ter Lorenzo Ruiz, who was can­on­ized in 1987; and Pe­dro Calung­sod, who was can­on­ized in 2012.

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