Meeting with the Relator, Msgr. Paul Pallath in Rome, Italy

Meeting with the Relator, Msgr. Paul Pallath of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints – Rome, Italy (March 06, 2018)

Forensic experts find ‘unusual’ aspects in Archbishop Teofilo Camomot’s remains

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol (Cebu Daily News) | Posted: 08:22 PM January 4th, 2018

The body of the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot may have decomposed.

However, forensic experts noted two uncommon aspects about the prelate’s remains.
“On opening the wood casket, the remains and clothes of the decedent was noted to be in pristine condition, uncorrupted by any form of infestation and insect activity. There was a remarkable absence of foul smell and odor of decay,” said Dr. Erwin Erfe, head of the forensic team that examined the skeletal remains of Camomot.

“In my 15 years as forensic-anthropologist, this is the first time I encountered something like this. This is something unique,” he added.

“Usually, there is an odor of decay whenever we examine remains even decades after the death of the person. And usually, the remains are infested with insects considering that the coffin is made of wood. In the case of Archbishop Camomot, there’s no foul smell and its remains were neither infested with insects.”

Erfe said it is now up to the Vatican’s Causes for the Congregation of Saints to determine whether or not to declare Camomot a saint, not just based on its remains, but on the virtues lived by the well-loved prelate who is now a candidate for sainthood.

The skeletal remains of Camomot were exhumed on Wednesday and interred at the Domus Teofilo (House of Teofilo) in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City on Thursday afternoon after a Mass was celebrated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

Camomot’s remains were placed on a fiber glass effigy and laid on a white coffin which was sealed by Palma.

At least 5,000 persons trooped to the Daughters of St. Teresa (DST) compound in Carcar City where Camomot’s remains were interred.

In his homily, Palma called on the people to pray unceasingly to the Lord as the Archdiocese of Cebu continues the stringent process for the beatification and canonization of Camomot.

“We thank the Lord for giving us Monsignor Lolong. By God’s will, may he be declared a saint soon. May God bless our hopes,” he told the crowd during the open air Mass at an open space inside the DST compound.

Palma said calls for the canonization of Camomot started even after the latter’s death in 1988. However, at that time, the Cebu archdiocese was still processing the sainthood of Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

When Calungsod was declared a saint in 2012, the archdiocese immediately petitioned the Vatican to allow the local church to process the cause of sainthood of Camomot who was known for his extreme generosity and love for the poor.

“Thanks be to God, the process is moving fast,” Palma said.

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Vatican approves process to make Archbishop Teofilo Camomot a saint

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol (Cebu Daily News) | Posted: 05:29 PM December 29, 2017

CEBU CITY — The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved the diocesan process for the cause of sainthood of the late Cebuano Archbishop Teofilo Camomot who was known for his extreme generosity and love for the poor.

In a letter addressed to the Cebu Archdiocese dated Nov. 9, Angelo Cardinal Amato said the inquiries and affidavits of witnesses gathered by the archdiocese on the life, virtues, and holiness of Camomot were valid and legitimate.

Amato is the prefect of the congregation that oversees the complex process that leads to canonization.

Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, vice postulator of Camomot’s cause, hopes to begin the next step of the process, which is to prove that the late archbishop possessed heroic virtues that will give the bishop the title “venerable.”

“We’re very happy that the congregation approved what we are doing. We were not asked to change anything nor add something to it. Everything is good,” Balili told the Inquirer.

According ot him, the diocesan process includes gathering of documents and writings of Camomot as well as the testimonies of witnesses who had personal encounters with the archbishop.

“The first stage involves the creation of a tribunal, the theological committee, and the historical committee. The tribunal gathered the testimonies of witnesses. The historical committee gathered all the writings which was analyzed by the theological committee,” he explained.

Balili said they ended the diocesan process last March and submitted everything to Rome in April.

“We got the results this month. That means, it took seven months for the congregation to approve it. Seven months is very, very fast already,” he said.

Balili is on top of the cause of sainthood for Camomot. He collaborates with the Rome-based postulator Fr. Samson Silloriquez.

The next part, he said, would be the preparation of the Positio, which would summarize the life and virtues of Camomot.

The Positio includes the biography of Camomot, the testimonies of witnesses, and explanation why the late archbishop should be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

When the Positio is finished, it will be submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. It will be studied by theologians and then passed to the cardinal members of the congregation who in turn will vote.

Their votes will determines whether the cause will continue or end. If the vote is affirmative, the recommendation of a Decree of Heroic Virtues is sent to the Pope.

Once the candidate’s heroic virtues have been recognized by the Pope, Camomot will be called “venerable.”

“From there, we wait for one miracle so that he will become a blessed. And once he become a blessed, we will wait for another miracle to become a saint,” Balili said.

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The cause for the sainthood of archbishop Teofilo Camomot: Stepping Into Destiny

By May Miasco (The Freeman) | Updated September 17, 2017 – 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — As a young boy, Teofilo Camomot had the nickname “Lolong.” Like most kids, his first teacher was her mother Angela. She tutored the boy how to read and write at home before he was sent to the Carcar Elementary School at the age seven – the mandatory school age under the prevailing American rule then.

At school, Lolong further learned reading, writing, and arithmetic. At the time, native languages had no place in the classroom, and so the boy learned to express himself in English, on top of the Spanish and Cebuano languages that were used back at home. The young Lolong didn’t escape being bullied by bigger boys. But he never fought back – not one single occasion. It was his younger brother Tereso who would rush to Teofilo’s side and get into a brawl to defend him.

Teofilo completed his elementary education in 1928; he was 14 years old. Instead of proceeding to high school, he left school and chose to help his father at the farm. Working in the corn fields he developed a love for agriculture. He then wanted to take up his secondary education at an agricultural school in Mindanao. At the time, agriculture courses were only offered in Mindanao, nowhere else in the country. But his mother didn’t want to send her boy to Mindanao. She feared that Teofilo might be made to do hard labor. The obedient son stayed put.

Published in The Freeman.