Friday, July 3, 2015

Promoting the Beatification of Bishop Camomot of Cebu, Philippines

The Philippines is one of two Asian countries with a predominantly Catholic population (the other is East Timor).  Eighty-six percent Filipinos are Christians, with eighty percent being Roman Catholic. Religion plays a large part in their lives. In shopping malls for instance, a loud speaker will blare the Angelus prayer at 6 p.m. Many shopping malls will have a chapel with regular Masses.

During our recent visit to Carcar, Cebu, we went to the shrine of Bishop Teofilo Camomot, for whom the Archbishop of Cebu has created a commission to pursue Camomot's beatification. 
I actually remember Bishop Camomot's name, perhaps in connection with my granduncle, Archbishop Jose Cuenco of Jaro, Iloilo. (The name Camomot is quite memorable.)

Bishop Camomot is being promoted by the religious in Cebu for beatification. His incorrupt body has been placed in a shrine on the grounds of the order he had founded, the Daughters of Saint Teresa. Pilgrims offer their prayers and petitions at his gravesite. When we were there, a Mass had just ended in the nearby church and the priest and churchgoers visited his shrine to sing hymns and pray.

Bishop Camomot is known as a holy man who served the poor, sick, homeless, and suffering. He lived a simple austere life. While serving as the clergy in Cebu, he was said to have bilocated (be in two places at the same time). The gift of bilocation is often mentioned as one of the "miracles" associated with him. (St. Padre Pio had this remarkable gift.)

Bishop Camomot was born in Cogon, Carcar on March 3, 1914, the third of eight children of Luis and Angela Bastida. He was a seminarian at the Seminario de San Carlos in Cebu, and he was ordained a priest in 1941. In 1943, he was appointed parish priest of Sta. Teresa Parish in Talisay, Cebu.

In 1958 he became a Co-adjustor Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro and appointed parish priest of Sta. Rita, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental. Here he founded the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Blessed Eucharist, presently the Daughters of Saint Teresa. In 1968, following kidney surgery, he resigned as Co-adjustor Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro and returned to Cebu in 1970. He became the auxiliary of Cardinal Rosales who assigned him parish priest of Pardo, Cebu City. 

On February 19, 1976, he became parish priest of his hometown Carcar, Cebu, while serving the archdiocese in other areas of responsibilites. 

He died on September 27, 1988, in a vehicular accident at San Fernando, Cebu.

The Vatican requires evidence of one authentic miracle for beatification, and two miracles for sainthood.

Two small rooms a the back of the shrine display some of Bishop Camomot's things, attesting to his simple life.

Prayer for the Process of the Beatification of Bishop Teofilo Camomot

Almighty and ever-living God, it was your grace and the love of you that made your servant, TEOFILO CAMOMOT, devote his life as priest and bishop, a life of self-abnegation, constant prayer and generous love for the poor and the needy. Grant that his virtues provide a lasting
example for all and merit the approval of the Church that he be raised to the altars.
As a sign of your benevolence to your servant’s cause, we humbly implore you to bestow upon us this favor…(mention your request)
In the name of Jesus, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
(Then recite one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.)

The Daughters of Saint Teresa request information should your favor be granted - write:
Daughters of Saint Teresa
Valladolid, Carcar, Cebu 6000

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