The cause for the sainthood of Lipa City, Batangas Bishop Alfredo Obviar has moved forward as Pope Francis declared him "venerable."
According to a post on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)) website, Pope Francis issued the decree on Thursday.
The term Venerable is given to a candidate for sainthood after the incumbent Pope has recognized the person's heroic virtues.
The next step in the process is the approval of a miracle, after which the candidate is given the title "Blessed" through a beatification rite.
Sainthood, which is granted through the process of canonization, is declared after another miracle has been approved. The miracles through strict screening by a group of scientists and theologians.
Obviar was born in Lipa City, Batangas in1889, was the first bishop of Lucena town in Quezon.
He was also the founder of the religious congregation for women, the Missionary Cathechists of Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus.
Obviar died in Lucena on October 1978.
The country has two saints, San Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila and Saint Pedro Calungsod of the Visayas. — BAP, GMA News