Archbishop Teofilo Camomot (Art by Athea Monique Z. Gala)

THE HOLY SEE has affirmed the heroic virtues of the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot, moving him a step closer to sainthood.

The Archdiocese of Cebu announced on Nov. 10 that the theological commission of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave a “unanimous affirmative vote” (nine out of nine) on Camomot’s positio or collection of accounts that would prove his “heroic virtues” when he was still alive.

“The cause of beatification and canonization of Bishop Camomot will be forwarded for further examination to the Commission of Bishops and Cardinals of the said congregation,” the archdiocese said in a Facebook post.

Upon completion of the study, the cause will be presented to Pope Francis for approval, upon which Camomot could be elevated to “Venerable.”

“Venerable” is the title given to a deceased person recognized formally by the Pope as “having lived heroic virtues,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Candidates for sainthood require two miracles attributed to their intercession. On the approval of the authenticity of the first miracle, then that person is beatified or named “Blessed.” A second miracle is needed to become a “saint” through the process of canonization.

Last July, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma called on the faithful to pray for the canonization of Camomot. The prayer was recited in every Mass in the archdiocese.

Camomot is among the three Filipino prelates who have been under consideration for sainthood since 2011.

He was born on March 3, 1914 in Carcar, Cebu and was ordained priest on Dec. 15, 1940.

In 1959, he was coadjutor archbishop of Cagayan de Oro and parish priest of Sta. Rita, Balingasag in Misamis Oriental.

He also founded the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Blessed Eucharist (CTOBE), now known as the Daughters of Saint Teresa.

He returned to Cebu in 1970 to assist Cebu Archbishop Julio Cardinal Rosales and was named parish priest of Carcar in 1976.

He died in a car accident in San Fernando, Cebu on Sept. 27, 1988.

According to accounts, Camomot lived a “simple and austere life.” Before celebrating Mass, he would often visit all the sick parishioners and attend to their needs.

The Cebu archdiocese introduced Camomot’s cause for beatification and canonization, and the “nihil obstat” (nothing hinders) was issued by the Vatican on Aug. 20, 2010. The diocesan inquiry was closed on March 2, 2017.

In November 2017, the Vatican congregation for saints approved the diocesan process for Camomot’s cause of sainthood.

The Philippines has two saints — Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, a Dominican layman who was canonized in 1987, and Pedro Calungsod, canonized in 2013.