Saint of the day

St. Toribio de Mogrovejo

Toribio was born in 1538 in Majorca, Spain. He became a university professor and then a famous judge. He was a fine Christian with a reputation for being honest and wise.

An unusual thing happened to Toribio, and it changed his whole life. He was asked to become the archbishop of Lima, Peru. First, he was not even a priest. Second, Peru was in South America, far away from Spain. Many people in the Church realized that Toribio had the qualities for such a trusted position. He begged to be excused from the honor. But when he learned about the miserable condition of the native people of Peru, Toribio could not refuse. He wanted to help them and to bring them the faith. Toribio was ordained a priest and set out for Peru in 1581.

As archbishop, Toribio traveled all over the country. He made his way over the snowy mountains on foot. He walked over the hot sands of the seashore. He built churches and hospitals. In 1591, he established the first seminary in the Americas. Now young men of Peru could be trained to become priests who could minister to their own people. Archbishop Toribio learned the different native languages. He wanted the people to be able to listen to homilies at Mass and go to confession in their own language. He protected the natives who were often cruelly treated by their conquerors. Toribio loved the people of Peru. He spent the rest of his life as a priest and bishop for them. He died on March 23, 1606, at the age of sixty-eight. Archbishop Toribio was proclaimed a saint by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.

We don’t want to be fooled into judging the importance of people by the amount of money they have or the expensive things they own. Each one is important because God is the Father of us all. We can ask St. Toribio to help us treat every person with respect and kindness as he did.

See you tomorrow!