MANILA, Oct. 14, 2011— Now that he is retired, Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said he would devote more time in pursuing the cause for the beatification of a Filipino prelate.
Rosales said that he wants that more Filipinos get to know and appreciate the life of the late Lucena Bishop Alfredo Obviar who is being evaluated in Vatican for possible beatification.
In fact, the cardinal said he was also planning to write a book about the life of Obviar, who was declared Servant of God in 2001.
A native of Lipa, Batangas and founder of the missionary catechists of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Obviar might become the first Filipino priest-saint.
Rosales also revealed that the crosier or pastoral staff he is using ever since he was ordained to the episcopate used to belong to Obviar.
“Since 1974, I never used any staff except this one,” he said, adding that the staff was personally given to him by Obviar.
The crosier is the symbol of the governing office of the bishop.
Rosales added that although it is still a mystery to him why Obviar chose to give him his staff, he is thankful for the “gift” that he received where he drew his strength aside from God.
“That’s really precious to me,” he said. “When I’m sick, I even put it near my chest for me to get well.”
Obviar died on October 1, 1978. His body was interred at the Mother House of the Congregation in Tayabas, Quezon and numerous miracles are said to have happened through his intercession.
Last December, Rosales formed the Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar Foundation, Inc., which aims to promote the cause of the beatification and canonization of the prelate.
The foundation will also gather, verify, prepare and present the testimonies and documents for the diocesan and canonical investigations. [CBCPNews]