Alfredo Obviar

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Servant of God
Alfredo Aranda Obviar
Bishop Emeritus of Lucena
Bishop Alfredo María Obviar (1889–1978).jpg
Obviar in 1974
Church Roman Catholic Church
Diocese Lucena
See Lucena
Appointed 4 November 1950
Installed 15 March 1951
Term ended 25 September 1976
Successor Jose Tomas Sanchez
Ordination 15 March 1919
by Alfredo Florentin Verzosa
Consecration 29 June 1944
by Guglielmo Piani, SDB
Rank Bishop
Personal details
Birth name Alfredo Aranda Obviar
Born (1889-08-29)29 August 1889
Lipa, Batangas, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died 1 October 1978(1978-10-01) (aged 88)
Lucena, Quezon, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Parents Telesforo Obviar (father)
Florentina Catalina Aranda (mother)
Motto Faciem Tuam Domine Requiram ("Your Face, O Lord, I seek") - Psalm 27:8
Feast day 1 October
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Servant of God

Alfredo María Aranda Obviar (29 August 1889 – 1 October 1978) is a Filipino Servant of God venerated in the Catholic Church. His cause for beatification is currently underway; he was declared Servant of God on 6 March 2001 with saint protocol number 2398. He is the founder of Missionary Catechists of Saint Thérèse of the Infant Jesus, and was Bishop of Lucena until his death.

Early life[edit]

Alfredo María Obviar y Aranda was born on 29 August 1889 in Mataás na Lupa, Lipa, Batangas to Telesforo Obviar and Florentina Catalina Aranda.[1]

He received his early religious instruction at the College of St. Francis Xavier in Manila run by the Society of Jesus, where he graduated in 1901. He earned his degree in Bachelor of Arts at Ateneo de Manila in 1914, and proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas Pontifical Seminary for his theological studies.[1]

Obviar received the sacerdotal ordination on 15 March 1919. His pastoral ministry began that same year at Luta (now Malvar, Batangas) and he continued as vicar of the cathedral-parish in Lipa from 1927 to 1944. In both parishes, he established Catechetical Centers in the población and the barrios. He was also Vicar General for the Diocese of Lipa,[1] and was appointed as confessor and chaplain of the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa.

Religious life[edit]

On March 11, 1944 he was appointed as the first Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa.[2] After 25 years in the ministry, Fr. Obviar was elevated to the episcopate on 29 June 1944, with Archbishop Guglielmo Piani SDB, Titular Archbishop of Nicosia, Cyprus as Principal Consecrator, and with Pedro Paulo Santos Songco, Bishop of Caceres (Naga) and César Marie Guerrero, Titular Bishop of Limisa, Tunisia as Co-Consecrators. He also became Titular Bishop of Linoë, Turkey from 11 March 1944 to 21 June 1959. When Linoë was an active diocese, it was part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Nicaea.

On 22 January 1951, Bishop Obviar was installed as Apostolic Administrator of the new Diocese of Lucena. Motivated by his great work for catechesis, he founded the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese (MCST) on August 12, 1958.[3] He established the Missionary Catechists of Saint Thérèse of the Infant Jesus (MCST), with the help of Mother Mercy Medenilla, who became the first superior of the MCST, and has four other women. The earliest monastic MCST was founded in San Narciso, Quezon.

To compensate for the shortage of priests in the new diocese, he also founded the Mount Carmel Seminary and later turn it into the Saint Alphonsus School of Theology. The establishment of this increased the number of priests attending from 1951 to 1975. In the year of his retirement, it had increased by more than 100 priests. Bishop Obivar ordained Ricardo Jamin Vidal to the priesthood on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March 1956, in Lucena; Vidal would later become a cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

From 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1962, Bishop Obviar was a Council Father at the first Session of the Second Vatican Council.

After more than 18 years as Administrator, Bishop Obviar was declared the first diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Lucena on July 15, 1969.


Bishop Obviar died on 1 October 1978, on the feast of his patron saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Statue and building of Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar, D.D.


Bishop Obviar has Saint protocol number 2398, and was declared nulla osta Servant of God in 2005.


Father, in Your loving compassion, lead us always to do Your will,
even as we ask You the grace (state your petition or favour),
wherein You have always be praised
and your faithful servant, ALFREDO MARÍA OBVIAR,
can be presented as another example of holiness in the Church.
This we ask through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, pray for us.



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