Saint Turibius de Mogrovejo (1538-1606)
Sometimes life can take a rather unexpected turn, but God always provides what we need. Turibius was born in Mayorga, Spain. He studied law, becoming a professor at the University of Salamanca. King Philip II appointed Turibius as chief judge of the Inquisition in Granada. However, when the Archdiocese of Lima, Peru was in need of a new bishop, Turibius, though a layman, was chosen for the office. Although Turibius protested, he was ordained and sent to Peru. He arrived to a most daunting task. The Archdiocese of Lima at the time stretched from Panama to Argentina, But worse than the challenge presented by the geography was the moral disorder, especially among the clergy. So Turibius set to work in visiting his whole diocese and bringing about the reform it so desperately needed. He fought to protect the native population and the poor from oppression. Turibius also strove to learn the native language so as to be able to speak to the Natives himself. Often on his pastoral visitations, Turibius would lack a bed and sufficient food. As one can imagine, Turibius was met with much opposition in his work of reform, but he was not deterred. When some sought to justify their abusive behaviour by appealing to “local custom,” Turibius rebuked them saying, “Christ called Himself the Truth, not the custom.” After about twenty five years of faithful and dedicated service, Turibius was laid to rest.
Lord, through the apostolic work of St. Turibius and his unwavering love of truth, you helped your Church to grow. May your chosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness.