VIGAN City, Nov. 22, 2012—With two Filipino lay saints already raised in the altar, a member of the clergy may in time join the ranks as the process for the Cause of Canonization of Bishop Alfredo Florentin Verzosa opens in Vigan.
The first Ilocano bishop, Bishop Versoza will become Servant of God on January 11 next year as the Cause of his Beatification and Canonization formally opens during a 10 a.m. Mass at Vigan’s St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, where his remains are kept.
A native of Vigan, Versoza became the 1st Filipino bishop and the 2nd Ordinary of the Diocese of Lipa from 1916 until his retirement in 1950.
He co-founded a religious congregation for women with Madre Laura Lattore Mendoza, called the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart.
During the Lipa apparition in 1948, he witnessed some of the miracles of the Roses together with his auxiliary bishop, the Servant of God Bishop Alfredo Obviar whose cause for beatification and canonization started in 2001.
The life of the soon-to-be Servant of God was known through the work of Fr. Ericson Josue, a priest from the diocese of Laoag and a professor of Theology at the Vigan Seminary.
Josue published the book “Alfredo Versoza, Obispo: The Life and Legacy of the Fourth Filipino Roman Catholic Bishop” back in 2007.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles will join Nueva Segovia Archbishop Ernesto Salgado during the Eucharistic celebration to formally open the diocesan process.
Arguelles himself ordered for a reinvestigation of the Lipa apparitions back in 2009.
In a circular sent to the clergy and faithful of Lipa, Arguelles encouraged all Batangueños “to make the same pilgrimage to the tomb of our former bishop and show our support for the eventual raising of a worthy shepherd in the altar.” (Mark Vertido/CBCPNews)