Saint Turibius de Mongrovejo
Saint Toribio de Mongrovejo
Bishop and Confessor
Born November 16, 1538(1538-11-16), Mayorga de Campos, Valladolid, SpainSpain
Died March 23, 1606 (aged 67), Saña, PeruPeru
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified July 2, 1679, Rome by Pope Innocent XI
Canonized 1726, Rome by Pope Benedict XIII
Feast March 23
Attributes episcopal rights
Patronage Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru

Turibius of Mongrovejo or Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo (16 November 1538 - 23 March 1606) was a Spanish judge of the court of the Inquisition and missionary Archbishop of Lima from the Spanish nobility.


Born in Mayorga de Campos, Valladolid, Spain, of noble family and highly educated, Turibius was named after another Spanish saint, Turibius of Astorga. He became professor of law at the highly reputed University of Salamanca. His learning and virtuous reputation led to his appointment as Grand Inquisitor of Spain by King Philip II on the Court of the Inquisition at Granada. During this time, he was ordained priest in 1578 and sent to Peru. Though not yet of ecclesiastical rank, Turibius was named Archbishop of Lima, Peru, in May 1579.

He arrived at Paita, Peru, 600 miles (970 km) from Lima, on May 24, 1581. He began his mission work by travelling to Lima on foot, baptizing and teaching the natives. His favourite topic was: "Time is not our own, and we must give a strict account of it." Three times he traversed the 450,000 square kilometers (180,000 square miles) of his diocese, generally on foot, frequently defenceless and often alone; exposed to tempests, torrents, deserts, wild beasts, tropical heat, fevers and sometimes threats from hostile tribes; baptizing and confirming nearly one half million souls, among them St. Rose of Lima, and St. Martin de Porres.

He built roads, schoolhouses and chapels, many hospitals and convents, and at Lima, in 1591, founded the first seminary in the Western hemisphere. He inaugurated the first part of the third Lima Cathedral on February 2, 1604.

Turibius assembled thirteen diocesan synods and three provincial councils. He was seen as a champion of the rights of the natives against the Spanish masters. "There was great opposition to Turibius from the governors of Peru whose authority he challenged," Elizabeth Hallam has written. "He learned local dialects so that he could communicate with–-and convert–-the native peoples, and he was a strong and effective champion of their rights."[{{fullurl:{{wikipedia:FULLPAGENAME}}}}#endnote_hallam]

Years before he died, he predicted the day and hour of his death. At Pacasmayo he contracted fever, but continued labouring to the last, arriving at Sana (or Saña) in a dying condition. Dragging himself to the sanctuary he received the Viaticum, expiring shortly after on March 23, 1606.


Turibius de Mongrovejo

St. Turibius de Mongrovejo

Turibius de Mogrovejo was beatified by Pope Innocent XI in the year 1679 and was later canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in the year 1726. His liturgical feast was once celebrated on April 27, but currently on March 23. His cult was once confined mainly to South America, but now more widespread because of his pioneering reforms.


  1. ^  Elizabeth Hallam (ed.), Saints: Who They Are and How They Help You (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), 27.

Sources and references

This article incorporates text from the entry St. Toribio Alfonso Mogrovejo in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.cs:Turibius z Mongrovejapt:Toríbio de Mongrovejo ro:Turibiu de Mongrovejo qu:Turibiu de Mugruvijo ru:Могровехо, Торибио де sv:Toribio av Mongrovejo

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