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30 years after his death: Hundreds take glimpse of Camomot’s remains

A wax statue of the late archbishop Teofilo Camomot encased with glass is venerated by the nuns and some of the people who were given the privilege to witness the transfer of his remains at the museum built in his honor in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City. Kristine Joyce W. Campaña

CEBU, Philippines — Jared Ciu was a still fifth grader in Carcar City in 1980s when he experienced first-hand what he described was the “goodness” of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot.

When some of his fellow boy scouts fell ill during an encampment activity, the archbishop visited and offered them prayers at the hospital.

Ciu, who now works for the Carcar City government, said he was so inspired by such act that when he learned that Camomot’s remains would be exhumed and put for public viewing, he was one of hundreds who rushed to the motherhouse of Daughters of St. Teresa in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City yesterday.

“I came here to pay tribute to the archbishop as one of the models of the Church,” Ciu told The FREEMAN in Cebuano. “We are also blessed that in his great time, we were able to experience his compassion to us. We were there and so we wish to witness him now.”

In proceedings that were not shown to the media and the public, Camomot's body was exhumed yesterday morning from his resting place inside the compound. This was done so that it could be transferred to Domus Teofilo, a nearby museum built in his honor.

Incidentally, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome granted in November last year the decree of validity to the cause his beatification.

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Father Samson Silloriquez, a Rome-based postulator for the cause of Camomot's sainthood, said the prelate’s remains were cleaned and varnished.

A forensic team then counted the bones and put them together.

“We were allowed to get a part of his remains in the foresight of his beatification and canonization. The relic will still be kept so that there will be no need to exhume it again,” said Silloriquez.

Since morning, the compound was closed from the public. Several people gathered outside in hopes of taking a glimpse of Camomot’s remains.

Some were let into the compound but the examination room was strictly off-limits.

After experts checked and prepared the remains all day long, the door to the examination room finally opened, and Camomot’s remains – his skull and bones were arranged to a human form and sculpted with a wax – were ushered out at around 7:09 p.m., about two hours late of the target 5 p.m.

Camomot was clad in a purple vestment, his hands above his chest, a ring in his right ringfinger.

As accompanying people prayed the litany, he was wheeled out and reached the museum at 7:20 p.m.

Camomot’s remains are now placed at the center of the chapel inside the museum and are up for public viewing until 3 p.m. today before they will be interred shortly after.

Camomot died in a vehicular accident in San Fernando town in 1988.

Based on the diocesan process, the cause for Camomot’s sainthood has been elevated to the next stage which is the Roman process, wherein the archdiocese has to make the "positio" or a dissertation that will prove Camomot’s heroic virtues and fame of sanctity.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the positio is like an official book form of the life of Camomot that will compile all the submitted documents that are more than 1,600 pages.

In the meantime, believers like Ciu, who were moved by Camomot’s goodness, vow to live by the life lessons imparted to them by the Cebuano prelate. (FREEMAN)

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