MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
FOR THE CELEBRATIONS OF THE FOURTH CENTENARY OF
THE DEATH OF ST TURIBIUS OF MOGROVEJO
Archbishops, Bishops and Priests taking part in the commemorations.
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
On the occasion of the celebrations of the Fourth Centenary of the death of St Turibius of Mogrovejo, the second Archbishop of Lima, I would like to offer a very cordial greeting to Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne as well as to the numerous Archbishops and Bishops who have gathered to give thanks to God for this outstanding figure of a Pastor.
I also greet with affection the priests, the consecrated persons and the rest of the faithful who have joined in the Church's rejoicing for God's gift to them of this most admirable Saint, whom they can invoke as an intercessor and in whom they have a model of life also for our time.
I likewise desire to urge everyone to consider this anniversary as a providential occasion to give new impetus to the Church's journey in the different Dioceses, drawing inspiration from St Turibius' life and work.
Indeed, he was distinguished for his self-denial and dedication to building and consolidating the Ecclesial Communities of his epoch. He did so with a great spirit of communion and collaboration, always seeking unity, as is shown by his convocation of the Third Provincial Council of Lima (1582-83), which left a valuable legacy of pastoral teaching and legislation.
One of its most precious fruits was the so-called Catechism of St Turibius. For centuries this proved an extraordinarily effective means of providing a sound instruction in the faith, in line with the authentic doctrine of the Church, for millions of people. Thus, it united in the most profound way, over and above any differences, all those who could identify with it through having "one Lord, one faith, one Baptism" (Eph 4: 5).
Aware that the Church's vitality depends largely upon the ministry of priests, the holy Archbishop founded the Conciliar Seminary of Lima, which is still active today. It is hoped that it will continue to be very productive precisely at a time when it is urgent to promote vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life in order to face the enormous task of building Christian communities that gather together joyfully at Sunday Mass, foster spiritual life, transmit and nurture the faith with care, witnessing to firm hope and always practising charity.
St Turibius expressed his deep missionary spirit in certain significant ways, such as his effort to learn different languages, in order to preach personally to all who were entrusted to his pastoral care.
However, he was also an example of respect for the dignity of every human person, whatever his or her condition, in whom he always tried to awaken happiness at being a true child of God.
On this occasion, I invoke the motherly intercession of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, so that she will protect the People of God journeying on in the Latin American countries and guide it towards the joy of living faith in Christ consistently and to the full.
With these sentiments, I am pleased to impart the Apostolic Blessing to you, with a special thought for the Church in Peru and for the Archdiocese of Lima in particular.
From the Vatican, 23 March, Feast of St Turibius of Mogrovejo, the Year of the Lord 2006
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