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Cardinal Tagle opens process for Fr. George Willman's beatification.

A naturalized Jesuit priest could soon be the next Filipino saint after Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has officially opened the process for his beatification and canonization at the Manila Cathedral.

Tagle led a mass for the formal opening of the archdiocesan process last Dec. 7 for the beatification and canonization of Father George Willman, the prelate behind the strengthening of the Philippines' Knights of Columbus which was established in 1905.

According to CBCP News, the official news service provider of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, III has been named as postulator for the cause of the naturalized Filipino Jesuit priest.

Quitorio of CBCP Media Office described Willman as a "friend of the poor" and "missionary to the youth."

The CBCP news site said that Tagle sworn in three prelates--Msgr. Geronimo Reyes as Episcopal delegate, Vice Postulator Father Wilmer Rosal, and Father Ricardo del Rosario as promoter of justice--along with other clergy and laymen who will work together on giving the Philippines another saint.

Presently, there are two Filipino saints -- Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod.

At the Manila Cathedral, about 1,000 spiritual children of Willman across the country together with former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide witnessed the solemn opening of the archdiocesan process.

Davide is the head of the national executive committee, which was created for the promotion work for the cause of Willman. Quitorio serves as the committee's vice chairman.

Tagle reminded the prelates their "great responsibility" in the cause of Willman's beatification and canonization as well as the "importance and seriousness" of their tasks.

He was honored for his "virtuous acts, compassionate leadership and for his kind and loving service to the Filipino people."

Aside from the Knights of Columbus, Willmann was instrumental in other organizations in the Philippines namely Catholic Youth Organization, Columbian Squires, and Daughters of Mary Immaculate, among others.

The Jesuit priest was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 29, 1897, and he arrived in the Philippine in 1922. He was declared a Filipino citizen by then President Ferdinand Marcos on July 1, 1975.


Cardinal Tagle leads the unveiling of the portrait of Jesuit Fr. George J. Willmann as the Manila archdiocesan process for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the latter formally opens at the Manila Cathedral on Monday, Dec. 7. Willman is considered as the "Father of the Knights of Columbus" in the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of CBCP/Roy Lagarde)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 8, 2015
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