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Monday, March 23, 2009

St. Toribio

I must confess that I knew nothing about this holy man who was born in Spain, was a law professor in Salamanca and chief judge in the Inquisition of Granada. None of which sounded especially holy to me. Then he was appointed as a layman to be Archbishop of Lima, Peru in 1580. He protested this irregularity, but Pope Pius V dispensed him from the usual process and he was ordained and consecrated bishop. He was very good for Peru; he condemned abuses, founded schools, hospitals, and churches, and the first seminary in Latin America. He learned the native languages and was a much-loved teacher and preacher. He was canonized in 1726. He is now the patron saint of the Latin American bishops as well as a patron saint of Peru.

In the Gospel (John 4:43-54) Jesus goes to Galilee and returned to Cana. A royal official, whose son was still in Capernaum, went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son who was near death. Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." The royal official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live."

While I was typing this, I began to think about how Jesus felt. He was responding to a father and telling him that his son will live. Yet, he knows that he is going to die and die on a cross like a common criminal. I think there was a great deal of emotion in the heart of Jesus that we sometimes miss as we read the Gospel.

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