The saint who is celebrated today, Toribio [Turibius] of Mongrovejo, is not well-known outside of Perú and some parts of Latin America, though he was the second archbishop of Lima.
He was named a bishop, even though he was not a priest but a professor of law in Spain. Yet when he arrived in Perú, he took his pastoral duties seriously, spending most of his first seven years visiting his immense archdiocese. This was the first of his four pastoral visits to the widely scattered parishes.
Through his efforts, a catechism was written in two indigenous languages, Aymara and Quechua, as well as Spanish. He also tried in some ways to protect the native peoples from the avarice of the Spaniards.
There is one story, related in Paul Burns’ Butler’s Lives of the Saints: New Condensed Edition, which strikes me as indicative of the independent spirit of Saint Toribio.
He had opened a seminary but ran into conflicts with the Spanish viceroy and the civil council over this effort. In one case, the viceroy objected to the order of the archbishop that seminarians and professors should leave their weapons at the door of the seminary. This was only resolved when the king took the side of Saint Toribio.
What strikes me is his commitment to be present to the people, learning Quechua, visiting the whole diocese, even staying in the houses of the poor when there was no presbytery.
We, the Church, should imitate this commitment and strive to be present to all, especially those most in need.