Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo (1538-1606)
for March 23
Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo was a brilliant lawyer, scholar, and professor. When the archdiocese of Lima, Peru, needed a new bishop, Turibius was chosen to fill the position. Even though he was a layman, he possessed the holiness and personal conviction needed to combat the injustices that plagued his new diocese. Turibius was not sure if he was fit to be a bishop, and cited canons that prohibited giving laymen Church positions. His concerns were overruled and he was ordained a priest, bishop, and then sent to Peru. When he arrived in his new diocese, he was appalled at the injustices the Spanish conquerors were committing against the native inhabitants, and the blatant abuses among the clergy. He worked hard to overcome these atrocities in Peru first. He then traveled around the archdiocese, learning the language and customs of the people, celebrating Mass, and administering the Sacrament of Confirmation. Among those he confirmed was Saint Rose of Lima. Although the people of his diocese were very poor, they were also very proud, and were reluctant to take public handouts. Turibius solved this problem by giving charitable offerings to his people anonymously. Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo is the patron of Latin American bishops, rights of native peoples, and Peru.
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Saint Turibius was a highly accomplished and widely renowned intellectual. Despite his fame, he identified with the poor, the forgotten, and those against whom injustices were perpetrated. When he reached Peru, he fought tirelessly on behalf of the downtrodden. Who in your society is downtrodden and forgotten? Which people find it most difficult to make ends meet and live? How can you better care for these people?
Dear Jesus, help your love to become more widespread in my society.