The Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, Ilocos Sur, is urging the Catholic faithful to pray for the advancement of the cause to sainthood of Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, Servant of God.
Archbishop Marlo Peralta made the call on Sunday, June 27, during the 67th death anniversary of the first and only Ilocano candidate to sainthood. The Mass was celebrated in the cathedral of the Nueva Segovia archdiocese, located in the city of Vigan.
In his homily, Archbishop Peralta honored Bishop Verzosa by highlighting the latter’s most admirable traits as a faithful.
He said that the beloved Servant of God lived his life for God and the people, and championed obedience and humility.
First Ilocano Servant of God
Born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur in 1877, Verzosa started his seminary formation in his birthplace before moving to the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán in Manila. Later, he would pursue Theological studies at the University of Santo Tomás.
The soon-to-be bishop and Servant of God is known for being steadfast and firm in his faith— a trait that was most evident during the revolution, when he experienced first-hand the chaos and struggles of the people of Vigan.
His being faithful amid adversities has soon paid off, as Verzosa became one of the first native priests to be ordained during the American Regime.
Throughout his priestly ministry, Verzosa committed himself to preserve Roman Catholicism, especially in the Ilocos area. In his ten years of serving Bantay, Ilocos Sur, as a parish priest, Verzosa was able to re-establish Roman Catholicism in the town through catechism.
This same commitment to catechetical programs would later lead Verzosa to his founding of the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart (MCSH), a religious congregation for women, in 1923.
Cause for Beatification and Canonization
Bishop Verzosa’s cause for beatification and canonization started in 2013, and was affirmed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
In 2016, the cause was brought to the Vatican. A year later, in 2017, the decree of validity was issued and the “Roman Phase” of the cause started to roll.
The archdiocese has been waiting for a decision since then.