23 March 2010
Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo
Born in Leon, Spain in A.D. 1538, of a noble family and highly educated, Saint Toribio was a professor of law at the University of Salamanca, where his learning and virtue earned him acclaim for which he was appointed the Grand Inquisitor of Spain by Philip II, though not an ecclesiastical rank. Saint Toribio was ordained in 1578 and consecrated as Archbishop of Lima two years later. Arriving in Peru on 24 May 1581, Saint Toribio found the abuses of colonial Spain at their worst in Peru. Immediately though he set upon his mission work by traveling the 600 miles to Lima on foot, baptizing and preaching the Gospel of Christ to the native peoples on his journey. Saint Toribio worked tirelessly for the rights of the native peoples against their Spanish colonial masters.
Saint Toribio's favorite topic was this: "Time is not our own, and we must give a strict account of it." He traversed the 18,000 miles of his diocese, generally on foot, three times. Often alone and subject to the elements and hostile peoples, Archbishop Toribio baptized and confirmed nearly half a million souls, including Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Francis Solanzo, and Saint Martin de Porres.
The roads, schools, and chapels that Saint Toribio built are innumerable, and he founded many hospitals and convents. The first seminary in the Americas was founded by Arbhishop Toribio at Lima in A.D. 1591. During his archbishopric he assembled thirteen diocesan synods and three provincial councils.
Years before Saint Toribio died, he predicted the day and hour of his death. Tradition tells that Saint Toribio contracted fever at Pacasmayo and arrived at Sana in a condition near death. At Sana, he drug himself into the sanctuary where he received Viaticum and died a short time later.
Saint Toribio was beatified by Blessed Pope Innocent XI in A.D. 1679 and canonized by Pope Benedict XII in A.D. 1726.
Lord, through the apostolic work of Saint Toribio
and his unwavering love of truth,
you helped your Church to grow.
May your chosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.