Some Awesome People

Friday, March 23, 2012

St. Turibius of Mogrovejo


Feastday: March 23

Turibius was a native of Spain, who worked as a judge in the Inquisition in Granada. At 43, while still a layman, he was chosen as bishop of Lima, Peru, where he spent the rest of his life as a missionary.

Early life
Turibius was born in the kingdom of Leon, Spain, and from his infancy was a pious child and generous to the poor. He studied at Valladolid and Salamanca. King Philip II of Spain made him a judge of the Inquisition at Granada and he discharged his duties with such integrity and prudence that at the age of 43, though still a layman, he appointed him as archbishop of Lima, Peru. He had to be rushed through the four minor orders and the three major orders of deacon, priest and bishop in a matter of weeks.

An intrepid missionary
Arriving in Lima in May 1581, he directed the Church's apostolate to the native population. He learned the local language, Quechua, and did most of his apostolic journeys on foot. His aim was to instruct his people and hold synods to settle and maintain discipline. Many of the Spanish generals in Peru were men of avarice and cruelty. Turibius fearlessly reproved injustice and vice. His concern for the native population was not shared by the Spanish civil authorities and even many in the Church. They often thwarted him in the discharge of his duty.

Training clergy
He founded schools and hospitals, as well as churches. As a missionary he had enormous success mainly because he took the trouble to learn native dialects. In 1591 he founded the first seminary for training clergy in the Americas. This had a salutary influence in other South American countries. His charity extended to the Spanish as well as the indigenous population.

Turibius personally baptised and confirmed about half a million people, including two of South America's best known saints, Rose of Lima and Martin de Porres. He died on Holy Thursday 1606 and was canonised in 1672. He is the patron saint of Peru.

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