- Posted March 24, 2012 by
Newark, New Jersey
This iReport is part of an assignment:
St. Rose of Lima and St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo
Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was not sharp enough a lawyer to prevent a surprising sequence of events. When the archdiocese of Lima in Peru required a new leader, Turibius was chosen to fill the post: He was the one person with the strength of character and holiness of spirit to heal the scandals that had infected that area. He cited all the canons that forbade giving laymen ecclesiastical dignities, but he was overruled. He was ordained priest and bishop and sent to Peru, where he found colonialism at its worst. The Spanish conquerors were guilty of every sort of oppression of the native population. Abuses among the clergy were flagrant, and he devoted his energies (and suffering) to this area first. He began the long and arduous visitation of an immense archdiocese, studying the language, staying two or three days in each place, often with neither bed nor food. He confessed every morning to his chaplain, and celebrated Mass with intense fervor. Among those to whom he gave the Sacrament of Confirmation was St. Rose of Lima, and possibly St. Martin de Porres. After 1590 he had the help of another great missionary, St. Francis Solanus. His people, though very poor, were sensitive, dreading to accept public charity from others. Turibius solved the problem by helping them anonymously.
He arrived at Paita, Peru, 600 miles (970 km) from Lima, on 24 May 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 (170,000 sq mi) of his diocese, generally on foot, frequently defenseless 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 2 February 1604.
Years before he died, he predicted the day and hour of his death. At Pacasmayo he contracted fever, but continued laboring 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 23March 1606.
St. Rose of Lima is the patroness of Latin America and the Philippines. This South American Saint's real name was Isabel, but she was such a beautiful baby that she was called Rose, and that name remained. As she grew older, she became more and more beautiful, and one day, her mother put a wreath of flowers on her head to show off her loveliness to friends. But Rose had no desire to be admired, for her heart had been given to Jesus. So she put a long pin into that wreath and it pierced her so deeply, that she had a hard time getting the wreath off afterward. Another time she became afraid that her beauty might be a temptation to someone, since people could not take their eyes off her. Therefore, she rubbed her face with pepper until it was all red and blistered.
St. Rose worked hard to support her poor parents and she humbly obeyed them, except when they tried to get her to marry. That she would not do. Her love of Jesus was so great that when she talked about Him, her face glowed and her eyes sparkled.
Rose had many temptations from the devil, and there were also many times when she had to suffer a feeling of terrible loneliness and sadness, for God seemed far away. Yet she cheerfully offered all these troubles to Him. In fact, in her last long, painful sickness, this heroic young woman use to pray: "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."
Many miracles followed her death. She was beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honoured. Her feast is celebrated 23 of August. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.