Mogrovejo, Toribio Alfonso de, St.
MOGROVEJO, TORIBIO ALFONSO DE, ST.
Spanish archbishop of Lima; b. Spain, November 1538; d. Saña, Peru, 1606. He was the son of a wealthy landed family, prominent in Castile since the days of the Reconquista, but his birthplace is a source of scholarly controversy. Some conjecture it was Villaquejida, near León, in the Diocese of Oviedo; others, Mayorga, Valladolid, in the Diocese of León. There is no definite documentary evidence for either.
He was one of five children; one of his sisters, Grimanesa, married Francisco de Quiñones, and another became a nun. When he was 12 to 15 years old, Toribio was sent to Valladolid to study humanities. In 1562 he went to Salamanca, where his uncle Juan was in the College of San Salvador de Oviedo. Toribio studied canon and civil law but left for a two-year stay in Coimbra with his uncle. Upon his return to Salamanca he won a scholarship to San Salvador de Oviedo. He remained there until he was unexpectedly named inquisitor of Granada in July 1574. He carried out the office with dignity and efficiency, although it was one of the most responsible in Spain. He gained a reputation for moderation not only in matters belonging exclusively to the tribunal but also in his dealings with the chancery of Granada.
In 1568 the Council of the Indies, which controlled the provinces in the New World, decided on a number of sweeping reforms. The energetic viceroy of Peru, Francisco de Toledo, was active in enforcing them, but he needed an efficient collaborator in ecclesiastical matters. On August 28, 1578, philip ii proposed that the pope name Mogrovejo archbishop of Lima to fill the vacancy left by the death of Jerónimo de loaysa. At first he humbly declined, but he finally accepted the appointment. Since up to that time he had received only tonsure, on successive Sundays he received the four minor orders and the subdeaconate. gregory xiii named him archbishop of Lima on March 16, 1579. Still in Granada, he received the diaconate and was ordained. He was consecrated in Seville in 1580 and left in September for Peru, accompanied by his sister Grimanesa and her family. After a stop in the Canary Islands they arrived at Nombre de Dios in Panama and from there crossed the Isthmus to embark on the Pacific for Paita. The party made the rest of the journey to Lima by land, the archbishop making a solemn entrance into the capital on May 11, 1581.
Not losing any time, he made his first pastoral visit and called the Third Council of Lima for Aug. 15, 1583. When the bishops under his jurisdiction were gathered together, they decided on a number of new regulations of great importance, some dealing with conversion of the Indians—catechism classes, administering the Sacraments, printing of catechisms, etc.—and others devoted to reform of the clergy. Although there were difficulties from the first moment, especially protests from the clergy about to be reformed, the acts of the council, which revitalized those of the Council of Trent and those of the Council of Lima of 1567, received royal and papal approval. They were put into effect in all the bishoprics of the province of Lima and gained such a reputation that they were subsequently adopted in the archdioceses of Charcas, New Granada, and Brazil, and in fact in all South America and in the missions of the East.
The archbishop engaged in various activities, such as founding a diocesan seminary, and continued his pastoral visits, synods, and councils. In the council of 1591 secularization of the religious doctrinas was discussed. Always conscious of the dignity of his office, Mogrovejo would, if he felt it necessary, oppose the civil authorities, even the king, whose exercise of royal patronage hindered direct communication by the bishop with the Holy See. Baptizing with his own hand, confirming, and taking care of all the matters that came to his attention, Mogrovejo made three general pastoral visitations and many local visits in the diocese. He was taken ill during the course of a visitation and died before he could return to Lima. He was canonized in 1726 by benedict xiii.
Feast: March 23.
Bibliography: v. rodrÍguez valencia, Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo, organizador y apóstol de Sud-América (Madrid 1946). n. mogrovejo rojas, Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo, defensor del indio americano (2d ed. Caracas 1985). j. a. dammert bellido, Arzobispos limenses evangelizadores (Bogota, Colombia 1987). f. pini rodolfi, m. l. gomez, and j. villanueva delgado, Presencia de Santo Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo en el Callejon de Conchucos (Chavin 1994).
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