AMERICA/PERU - Official celebrations for 4th centenary of the death of Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo, Patron of Latin American Bishops’ Conferences

Friday, 20 January 2006

Lima (Agenzia Fides) - The Church in Peru will open celebrations for the 4th centenary of the death of Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo, Patron of Latin American Bishops’ Conferences on Sunday 22 January with a solemn Mass in Lima Cathedral presided by the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne. Concelebrants will include Papal Nuncio Archbishop Rino Passigato; Bishop Hugo Garaycoa Hawkins President of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference and Conference secretary, Bishop Juan José Larrañeta. For the occasion Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples in the Vatican will also be present. The Mass will also start the 87th assembly of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference.
Other initiatives for the 4th centenary of the death of Santo Toribio include an international academic congress attended by the presidents of Latin American Bishops’ Conferences to be held 23 to 28 April at the Auditorium of the Colegio Santo Agostino on the theme: Toribio de Mogrovejo: missionary, saint and bishop. The congress is open to priests, religious and the laity in general and its objective is to reflect on the teaching and example of Santo Toribo, second archbishop of Lima. On April 27 feast of Santo Toribio a procession with the saint’s relics in Lima cathedral will be presided by the Papal Envoy. In view of the event the diocese has organised various initiatives and published material on the life and work of Santo Toribio.
Born in Spain in 1538, Toribio was president of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Granada when Emperor Felipe II, aware that he was a very gifted cleric, suggested that the Pope should appoint him archbishop of Lima, in Peru. Toribio arrived in Lima in 1581 and devoted all his energies to overcoming spiritual and moral decline, firmly condemning all forms of abuse and arrogance, activity for which he suffered calumny and defamation. He travelled the length and breadth of his vast diocese three times, on foot or riding a mule. He converted numerous Indios to Christ, held regular meetings with the clergy and other bishops, opened the country’s first seminary, encouraged religious to care for parishes in the poorest areas, almost doubled the number of parishes and centres of evangelisation, and gave everything he possessed to the poor. He died on 23 March 1606, Holy Thursday, while preaching in a remote chapel confirming the local Indios in their faith. He was canonised by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 20/1/2006 - righe 34, parole 491)