See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, April 25, 2009

St. Toribio Romo Gonzalez


Patron of border crossers.
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On my way to mail some letters the other day, I noticed a 'pilgrim' with a nap sack, looking very disheveled, sitting on a park bench, overlooking the wetland across from the post office. I mailed my stuff and drove on to the store. Suddenly I realized that this man was most likely homeless, so I immediately turned around, drove back to give him some money. He noticed me as I got out of the car, and seemed to tighten up a bit, as if afraid. "How could he be fearful of me?" I said to myself as I approached him.
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I greeted him and asked, "Are you homeless?" Noticing that he looked Mexican, I knew that to be the case by how big his knapsack was.
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"No. No." He answered, smiling nervously.
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"Are you sure? I'd like to help you out if you would let me." Reaching for my wallet, "I can give you some money for food at least."
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"No! No, no, no! I'm okay." He insisted.
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I apologised and wished him well as I backed away, feeling foolish that I had embarrassed him - I should have just given him my cash. As I drove off, I realized he was most likely an illegal immigrant and was fearful that I was an agent, or that I would turn him in. I felt really stupid.
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If he only knew I just wanted to help him.
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Thankfully one saint does seem to help such people, and his name is St. Turibio Romo Gonzalez, a Mexican Martyr. He is known to come to the aid of the immigrants and border crossers.
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Photo: Shrine of St. Toribio Romo. Source.

8 comments:

  1. It's too bad we have such a climate of fear right now. At least you tried to help.

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  2. Maybe you could have just left a 5 or a 10 on the bench next to him.
    Susan Peterson

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  3. Hi Susaan - For sure - I wish I would have done that - when I realized my mistake, I was afraid of upsetting him more by returning to just give him what I had. Next time, I'll do just that or something like, "Sir, I think you dropped this" and then hand him the money. I'm going to tey and get some holy cards of St. Turibio to hand out as well.

    Melody - We sure do have a climate of fear - that is an excellent way of putting it.

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  4. Yeah, I've recently had a similar experience...not realizing they would think I could be INS when I only wanted to help. I just made them nervous and avoid me. Next time, I'll just give them cash and invite them to the closest Catholic church.

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  5. Here in Tulsa we have a Shrine of Saint Toribio, much loved by our Mexican community.

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  6. Fr. Mark - I know - your Bishop is excellent in making sure his flock is well taken care of and spiritually nourished.

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  7. As St. Vincent de Paul once said "It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them." Love overcomes fear sometimes but not all of the time. All you can do is to remain gentle and smiling. If you are refused, pray pray pray for that person.

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