23 March: Saint Toribio

23 March: Saint Toribio

23 March: Saint Toribio, orTuribius Alfonso de Mogrovejo, was born in 1538 in Spain. His father was mayor of the city. At age twelve, he was sent to be educated in the humanities. He then studied law at the University of Salamanca. He was so brilliant a scholar that even though he was a layman, King Philip II appointed him chief judge of the Inquisitorial Court of Granada. As he prosecuted his duties so well, the king proposed him to the pope as the Archbishop of Lima. Gregory XIII named Toribio to this office in 1579, despite the fact that the shocked Toribio pleaded his incapacity for the office and argued that the canons prevented a layman from being appointed. Toribio eventually agreed and was consecrated a bishop. He then set out for the New World. After arriving in Lima in 1581, Toribio wasted no time in getting to work. His archdiocese was huge, encompassing about 400 miles. One of Toribio’s greatest accomplishments was overseeing the Third Provincial Council of Lima (1582-1583), one of the most important and far-ranging councils held in the Americas. Among other things, Toribio worked to implement the decrees of the Council of Trent in the Americas. He focused on the reformation of the clergy and the evangelization of the Indians. Toribio established the first seminary in the New World at Lima in 1590. Toribio also conducted pastoral visitations of his diocese, travelling across the entirety of the territory by foot. His visits took seventeen years to accomplish, covering 18,000 miles. Moving from parish to parish, he made an effort to know and instruct his flock, whether Spanish or Indian. For the salvation of souls, he made nocturnal journeys during torrential downpours of rain or on rugged paths covered in snow. Even on these long journeys, Toribio always said mass each morning and made a daily confession to his chaplain. In order to reach all of his flock, Toribio traversed steep and rugged mountains, sometimes by himself, to bring the Gospel to the natives in outlying areas. Oftentimes, he would dwell in the hut of the Incas for a few days with no food or bedding, preaching to the whole tribe, baptizing and confirming them. Toribio saw himself as a missionary and “Protector of the Indians.” St. Toribio also personally knew some of the great saints of South America. He gave the Sacrament of Confirmation to St. Rose of Lima, St. Martin de Porres and St. John Macias. He was also a good friend to St. Francis Solano, “the Wonderworker of the New World.” On one of his many journeys, Toribio was taken ill. He died on March 23, 1606, repeating the very words of Christ, “Into thy hands, I commend my spirit.” Toribio was beatified by Innocent XI in 1697 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. Together with Rose of Lima, St. Toribio is the first known saint of the New World. He is the patron saint of indigenous/Native rights, Latin American bishops, and Peru.

Ideas for celebrating in your home:

·         For a feast day dinner, try making a traditional Peruvian food recipe: Aji de Gallina (chicken in pepper sauce) – serve with rice or potatoes. For dessert, make Arroz con Leche (rice pudding).

·         OR, order dinner from the Golden Llama, a local restaurant serving authentic Peruvian dishes.

·         Read more about Saint Toribio: click here and here.

·         Look up the stories of other Central or South American saints, such as Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Martin de Porres, and Saint Peter Claver.

  • St. Toribio started the first seminary in the Americas and was named the first male saint of the New World. Offer a rosary today for an increase in vocations and for those studying for the priesthood.
  • St. Toribio fought for social justice, championing the rights of the natives against the Spanish masters. Make a contribution to your local food pantry, volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, cut out pictures of children from third world countries and make a display in your home to encourage your children to make sacrifices or to contribute money to those less fortunate.


(sources: catholicculture.org; usccb.org; franciscanmedia.org)
19 March: Solemnity of Saint Joseph

19 March: Solemnity of Saint Joseph

19 March: Solemnity of Saint Joseph. The Church celebrates two feast days for Saint Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker. March 19 has been the more commonly celebrated feast; it wasn’t until 1955 that Pope Pius XII established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker” on May 1 (this is also “May Day” – International Workers’ Day). Saint Joseph is well known as the head of the Holy Family. He is silent in scripture, yet, spoken words are not needed for us to understand what a godly man Joseph was. Here is what Pope Benedict XVI says of Joseph’s silence: “The silence of Saint Joseph is given a special emphasis. His silence is steeped in contemplation of the mystery of God in an attitude of total availability to divine desires. It is a silence thanks to which Joseph, in unison with Mary, watches over the Word of God, known through the Sacred Scriptures, continuously comparing it with the events of the life of Jesus; a silence woven of constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of the adoration of His holy will and of unreserved entrustment to his providence. It is no exaggeration to think that it was precisely from his “father” Joseph that Jesus learned… Let us allow ourselves to be “filled” with Saint Joseph’s silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God’s voice.”  

Saint Joseph is the guardian and patron of the Universal Church, as well as of many causes including workers, fathers, and a happy death, due to the tradition that he died in Jesus and Mary’s arms.

Inspired by the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church from the earliest centuries stressed that just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church.”– POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II

Ideas for celebrating in your home:

  • It is traditional to wear red for St. Joseph’s feast day. Set the table with red cloths or candles, too! Decorate your table with tools and a sprinkle of sawdust (tip: breadcrumbs look like sawdust!). Place white lilies in your home to remember St. Joseph’s purity.
  • Click here to see how to make a “St Joseph Altar” with all the traditional foods. Or, simply serve up sloppy Joe sandwiches as a fun way to remember Beloved Saint Joseph!
  • Traditional St. Joseph’s day foods include breads shaped in cross and staff form, figs, olives, dates, artichokes, fruits, salads, and sweets of all kinds especially donuts, cream puffs, biscotti and Italian cookies. For the main meal you could serve traditional fish and “St. Joseph’s Sawdust”: toasted bread crumbs over pasta, representing sawdust from St. Joseph’s workshop. Here’s a recipe
  • Children can do a craft building/making something out of wood (twigs, popsicle stick, etc) to remember Joseph’s work as a carpenter.
  • In Italy and Spain, Father’s Day is celebrated annually on St. Joseph’s Day. Whatever older man in your life has guided you, deepened your faith, or helped you — whether it’s a biological father, adoptive father, foster father, grandfather, father-in-law or good priest: St. Joseph’s Day is a perfect day to honor them! Send a card; give them a call; deliver a dinner; or, offer a Mass in their honor.
  • Give your worries to Joseph so you can get some rest: It is said that St. Joseph, the “Terror of Demons,” even frightens demons in his sleep, such is his power and strength! Ask St. Joseph, who communicates with God even in his dreams, to pray for you and take your worries away!
  • Participate in the 33-day consecration to St. Joseph
  • Pray the rosary with your family, reciting the Year of St. Joseph prayer at the end
  • 2021 has been named the “Year of Saint Joseph” – take advantage of the Year of St. Joseph indulgences granted by the Holy See
  • Saint Joseph’s life is a model of Christian virtue. Perhaps we honor him best when we imitate his virtues (visit this website for insight into all of Joseph’s virtues).
  • Bishop Guglielmone has granted a dispensation the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday, March 19, in celebration of the Feast of St. Joseph that day. Let us commemorate and celebrate the mighty and faithful defender of the Church on his feast day during this proclaimed Year of St. Joseph.