(April 2, 2014) – A musical stage play on the life and work of the first Ilocano Bishop and the first Filipino Bishop of then Diocese of Lipa, Bishop Alfredo Florentin Verzosa, is in the making. In a press conference held at SM Taguig, it was announced that sometime July this year, Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, the Musical will be staged first at SM Lipa City before going into other venues in Luzon, Visayas and even Mindanao. This is part of the nation-wide drive to introduce the late Bishop Verzosa to Filipino Catholics as his cause for beatification, and eventual canonization. The cause of his beatification has already been initiated in the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia (Vigan) last year in an elaborate rites, presided over by Archbishop Ernesto Salgado, now Archbishop-Emeritus of Nueva Segovia.
Bishop Alfredo Verzosa was the first Ilocano priest to be elevated to the episcopacy. His staunch defence of the Catholic Faith during the Aglipayan schism was legendary. According to Mother Julie Micosa, MCSH, superior-general of the congregation which he later founded while serving as bishop of the then Diocese of Lipa, he was stoned and threatened with physical harm so many times by the enemies of the Church but miraculously he escarped them all.
He succeeded Bishop Guiseppe Petrelli as Bishop of Lipa, who presided over his consecration as bishop at the Cathedral of San Sebastian, thus making him the first Filipino Bishop of the Diocese of Lipa. According to Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, he was the Bishop who served the longest in the local church of Lipa. He was the prelate when the alleged appearance of Mary Mediatirx of All Grace, accompanied with the shower of roses, took place in the early 50s. When a commission of bishops declared this as “not extra-ordinary”, he was retired as Bishop and spent his remaining years at his home diocese in Vigan, where his tomb has been refurbished after having been forgotten and neglected until a young theologian-seminarian took notice of the inscription at one of supposedly tombs at the Cathedral’s side cemetery with the inscription “Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, Bishop of Lipa”. Fr. Erickson Josue, who did the biography of Bp. Verzosa as his paper for graduation in the seminary, is now a member of the historical commission that helps in the cause for his beatification.
Auditions are being held at the different SM branches in Lipa City, SM North in Manila, SM Pamapanga and SM Rosales, Pangasinan.