Lipa 'Miracles of the Roses' witness to be canonized

Posted at 11/24/2012 2:03 AM | Updated as of 11/24/2012 2:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The canonization process for the Philippines' next possible saint is set to begin next year, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.

In a report, the CBCBNews said the Cause of Canonization of Bishop Alfredo Florentin Verzosa will formally open in Vigan on January 11, 2013 during a mass at the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, where the bishop's remains are kept.

The CBCP said Verzosa, a native of Vigan, is the Diocese of Lipa's first Filipino bishop and the second Ordinary from 1916 until his retirement in 1950.

Verzosa also co-founded a religious congregation for women with Madre Laura Lattore Mendoza, called the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart.

The CBCP said in 1948, Verzosa witnessed some of the miracles of the Roses in Lipa, along with his auxiliary bishop, Servant of God Bishop Alfredo Obviar whose cause for beatification and canonization started in 2001.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, who had ordered an investigation into the Lipa apparitions in 2009, will join Nueva Segovia Archbishop Ernesto Salgado during the Eucharistic celebration to formally open the diocesan process for Verzosa's canonization.

In a circular to members of the Lipa diocese, 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."

Verzosa's life was chronicled by Fr. Ericson Josue in his book “Alfredo Versoza, Obispo: The Life and Legacy of the Fourth Filipino Roman Catholic Bishop."