On October 1, 2003, during a conversation between Dave Ceasar Dela Cruz and Lloyd Paul Elauria, the two decided to establish a group of young people that will propagate the lives and works of the Saints and Blessed, and the proper care of sacred relics. They named the group “Confraternity of Catholic Saints.”
The group served the parish of Transfiguration of Our Lord in Murphy, Quezon City, with the blessing of the former parish priest, Rev. Fr. Alfredo A. Pascual, Jr. On November 1, 2003, the first work of the Confraternity was an exhibit of sacred relics of Saints and Blessed under the care of the two founders with the giving of prayers cards to parishioners.
From the parish, other parishes and communities also invited the group. The first mission of the Confraternity was at Southville School (now Southville International School and Colleges) in Las Piñas City.
Dave Dela Cruz is instrumental in making the life and works of Blessed Ivan Merz known in the country when he contacted postulation based in Croatia. The purpose of the contact was to refer to Blessed Ivan for his studies in Liturgy at Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. From then, regular communication was established between Dela Cruz and the Postulator, Fr. Bozidar Nagy, SJ.
Because of the work of the Confraternity of Catholic Saints in the propagation of the lives and works of the Saints and Blessed, Fr. Nagy officially recognized the group as the official promoter of Blessed Ivan Merz in the Philippines through a letter dated June 19, 2007. The Confraternity decided that Blessed Ivan Merz will be its prime candidate for Sainthood.
To establish a good relationship between the Philippines and Croatia in promoting the Blessed Ivan Merz for Sainthood, Dela Cruz was invited to visit Rome and Croatia in October 2007. He was oriented with the life and works of Blessed Ivan Merz and the work of the Postulation. When he returned to the Philippines, he was nominated to be the Vice Postulator of the Cause for Canonization of Blessed Ivan Merz which was made official with an appointment letter dated March 19, 2008.
During the fifth anniversary of the Confraternity in 2008, the first members dedicated themselves to the work of promotion of Blessed Ivan Merz and other Saints and candidates for Sainthood. The Bishops of Cubao and Caloocan, the Archbishop of Jaro, the Apostolic Nuncio, and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints sent their messages on this occasion.
In 2014, the Confraternity decided to change its name to “The Cause for Canonization of Blessed Ivan Merz.” It serves as the official arm of Croatia in the country in propagating the sainthood of Blessed Ivan Merz. It became the first group to dedicate its work through a catechetical exhibit of sacred relics that brought the Tour of Sacred Relics.
The group became known during the beatification (2011) and canonization (2014) of Pope John Paul II. They received the first blood relic of the Pope in the country and organized the nationwide tour of his relics. The Bishop of Cubao and the Archbishops of Jaro and Capiz supported the exhibition, and the late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal endorsed it. The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines also blessed the exhibition through an official communication sent to the group.
Other than the relics of Blessed Ivan Merz and Saint John Paul II, other themes of the Tour of Sacred Relics were organized such as the Relics of Mother Teresa, Our Lady of Fatima & her visionaries, Padre Pio, canonized and beatified popes, St. Joseph, and many more. These tours became an avenue of promotion of Blessed Ivan Merz.
Due to the growing number of devotees and faithful who wish to see the Sacred Relics of Holy Men and Women, the officers at that time decided to have a physical office. The first physical office was located at Araneta Avenue, Quezon City, and, after a few months, was transferred to Marikina City, where it is located until now.
The group was registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Republic of the Philippines making it a profit, non-stock corporation. The Philippine Government issued the Certificate of Incorporation on May 8, 2018, creating “The Cause for Canonization of Blessed Ivan Merz, Inc.”
Currently, The Cause for Canonization of Blessed Ivan Merz, Inc. continues to grow in faith, hope, and love. From a group that promotes the life of Blessed Ivan Merz and the veneration of the relics of canonized and beatified servants of God, it now serves as a means to lead and educate people, especially the youth, to Jesus Christ through its missions of Sanctification, Evangelization, and Charity.