March 23

St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

Early Life

The Spanish saint, Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo, also known as Turibiusof Mogrovejo, was born to Luis Alfonso de Mogrovejo and Ana de Robles IMoran on November 16th, 1538. The location of his birth was atValladolid, Habsburg, Spain. As a young child, Toribio was known to havestrongly upheld a devotion to the Blessed Virgin, so much so that noweek went by without him fasting in honour of the Blessed Mother. Hisinquisitiveness to know more led to his studies at Valladolid college atthe age of twelve, where he studied humanities. In years that followedafter his graduation, Toribio joined his uncle, Juan de Mogrovejo, as aprofessor in the Salamanca’s college, where his duty was to teach law.Years later, he returned as a student in the college at Coimbra, afterwhich he came back to Salamanca. Years after his uncle’s death, becauseof how knowledgeable Toribio seemed to be, King Philip II assigned himthe duty of Grand Inquisitor in the year 1571 at the Inquisition Courtin Granada, where he served for five years.

Dedication and Devotion

King Philip II used his influence after that Toribio had served as GrandInquisitor to nominate him as Lima archbishopric, given that theposition was vacant at the time. Being grounded in canon law, Toribiotried to make the King see reasons he could not take on the position,that it was one left for people who were ordained priests or King only.Unfortunately, however, Toribio’s knowledge of the canon law did notsave him from what fate was deciding for him. His points were alloverruled by the pope, and subsequently, arrangements began to come upfor his ordination before the official announcement of his filling theoffice. In 1578, Toribio was ordained into the priesthood, and by May ofthe following year, he was made an Archbishop. Toribio, after that,received his episcopal consecration in the year 1580, carried on by theArchbishop of Seville Cristobal Rojas Sandoval.

Just after his ordination, Toribio kicked off his ministry by settingout on foot to Lima, where he baptized and taught people about Christ.Being that he was journeying through the archdiocese on foot, Toribioexperience a whole lot of up and downs: from foot burns to fevers tothreats from aggressive tribes to the wild beasts he’d had to face, too.But he didn’t relent. He instead went on to construct roads, buildhospitals and chapels, schools, and convents. He also established aseminary, which would be the very first of such in the entire WesternHemisphere. He fought to make sure that those priests of questionablebehaviours are brought to order, and though this earned him a titleamong them, it was and turned out for the good of all. The saint wasalso triumphant, among many other things, to including evangelism as acentral theme in the episcopal career.


Amongst the many legacies, St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo left behindafter his passing include: the schools, convent, hospitals, roads,chapels, etc., of his establishments. He also was a voice that stood foronly what was upright. Such could be seen in his reformation of thediocesan priests. His engagement to including evangelism as a coreaspect of his episcopal career could also be measured as one of hislegacies. In all, his influence and impact over life is a great legacyto look on to today.

Death and Canonization

Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo passed away on March 13th, 1606, atprecisely 3:30 pm from a fever. This had happened as he’d predicted.Such was during the period of a pastoral visit in Pacasmayo. Toribio wascanonized as a saint in 1726, on December 10th, precisely by PopeBenedict XIII.

Feast Day

Liturgical feast in honour of St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo used tobe celebrated on April 27th, but currently, such is done on March23rd.

An Interesting Fact About St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

  1. Did you know that St. Toribio predicted the exact time and date of
    his death, and it did happen that way?

Prayer to St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

Lord, through the apostolic work of Saint Turibius and hisunwavering love of truth, you helped your Church to grow. May yourchosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness. Grant this throughour Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and theHoly Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.