LIMA, Peru, APRIL 25, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Latin America needs bishops and missionaries such as Turibius de Mongrovejo, said Benedict XVI in a message sent to participants observing the fourth centenary of the saint's death.
St. Turibius de Mongrovejo, archbishop of Lima, Peru, from 1581 until his death at age 68 in 1606, was declared patron of the Latin American and Caribbean episcopates by Pope John Paul II.
Benedict XVI's message was read Monday at St. Augustine College in Lima, at the opening of the academic congress on "St. Turibius de Mongrovejo: Missionary, Saint, Pastor." It was read by the papal representative at the celebrations, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo and primate of the Americas.
In the message, Benedict XVI expresses the hope that the celebrations will be "a providential occasion to revive the Church's endeavor in the different dioceses, inspired by the life and work of St. Turibius [who] was outstanding for his abnegated commitment to the building and consolidation of the ecclesial communities of his time."
The message highlights St. Turibius' profound missionary spirit, "such as his efforts to learn different languages, in order to preach personally to all who were entrusted to his pastoral care."
The papal message added: "But it was also a manifestation of respect for the dignity of every human person, regardless of his condition, in whom [the saint] always tried to arouse the joy of knowing himself to be a true son of God."