Symposium to tackle life of Bishop Camomot
Priest: More witnesses needed to bolster Carcar prelate’s bid for sainthood
To make known his life and ministry to the people, the Archdiocese of Cebu will hold a symposium about the late Cebuano Bishop Teofilo Camomot whose cause for sainthood is being processed. “We need to introduce him to the people. We need to tell them about his virtues so that in him, they will find a model to emulate,” said Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, the vice-postulator of Camomot’s cause for sainthood.
The symposium will be held on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the IEC Pavilion in Mabolo, Cebu City. It will end with a Mass to be presided over by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. The event is part of the activities in commemoration of the 102nd birth anniversary of Camomot, a native of Carcar City, Cebu, whose generosity and love for the poor was exceptional. Palma will also officiate a Mass at the tomb of Camomot located at the Daughters of Santa Teresa (DST) convent in Carcar City in celebration of the prelate’s birthday today.
Balili said they are currently interviewing more witnesses to bolster Camomot’s cause for sainthood. So far, the archdiocese has 85 witnesses. Twenty of them have already been interviewed. “We need more witnesses so we could give a better picture of him. It’s like solving a puzzle. We need to see the many angles of his life so we can give a holistic picture of who he truly was,” said Balili who also serves as the private secretary of Palma. The diocesan process, he said, includes coming up with an extensive biography of Camomot which will be submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.
Balili said they are also looking for one significant miracle attributed to the intercession of Camomot. “We have received several reports of favors granted through his intercession, big and small. But we need to choose one instance that could not be explained even by science,” he said.
For it to be considered a miracle, Balili said, they have to wait for five years since the extraordinary phenomenon happened to make sure an illness won’t recur. Camomot was born on March 3, 1914 in Carcar, Cebu. He was ordained as priest of the Archdiocese of Cebu in 1941. In 1955, he became auxiliary bishop of Jaro in Iloilo and became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro in 1958. He died in a vehicular accident in San Fernando town on September 27, 1988 at the age of 74.
In 2010, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal announced that the Holy See had approved the opening of the cause for the beatification of Camomot.
The prelate was known for his simplicity, love of the poor, holiness, and extreme generosity. There were instances when Camomot would pawn his pectoral cross and give the money to the poor. He also didn’t mind people who took advantage of his generosity, saying they too badly need help. Vidal also attested that Camomot could bilocate or the capacity to be in different places at the same time. This was the same attribution to other saints like Padre Pio.
If Camomot’s cause for sainthood will be approved by the Vatican, he will become the the third Filipino saint, second from the Visayas, and the first Filipino saint who was a member of the clergy.
The first two Filipino saints are lay persons: Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila and Pedro Calungsod.
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