Benito Juarez

Masonic Biographies

Benito Juarez

Born: Friday, 21 March 1806
Died: Thursday, 18 July 1872

Benito Pablo Juarez one of the most beloved Presidents of Mexico was a lawyer, politician, and Freemason, as well as a fierce defender of the Mexican independence from European occupation.

As one of the most highly regarded Presidents in Mexico's history, Benito Pablo Juarez was so honored and revered by the public that he was given the title “Benemerito de las Americas,” translated as “Meritorious of the Americas.” Born on March 21, 1806, in San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca, Mexico, he died after living a life of service on July 18, 1872, in Mexico City. 

From humble beginnings, he rose to great stature. Benito was born to native Zapotec parents and orphaned at three years old, only briefly raised by relatives. During his early years, he would work the fields and only spoke his native Zapotec tongue. He began his formal education at the age of twelve after leaving his native Oaxaca to Mexico City. While originally focused on the priesthood and briefly entering the seminary, Benito changed directions when he enrolled in the University of Oaxaca to study Law and Science in 1927. He received his Law degree in 1831.

It was his experience in his early training for the priesthood and later his law studies that defined his steadfast belief in the separation of church and state. He entered politics during the period of Santa Anas military rule. In 1943, Benito married Margarita Meza daughter to one of wealthiest families in Mexico allowing him access to the conservative class and introducing him to multiple appointments from conservatives’ positions. It was from this point on that he not only developed a reputation of impeccable honesty, steadfast ethics, and simple taste.

In 1846, the Mexican liberal party came into power and Benito Juarez joined the cause. It was during the war with the US in 1847 to 1848 that he was named Oaxaca acting governor and then officially elected for another term. During this time, he fiercely promoted the Guerrilla against the US and opposed the Treaty formulated by Santa Ana “The Treaty of Guadalupe.” Due to his staunch opposition to Santa Ana, he was exiled to New Orleans and Louisiana.  

During this time, he formulated his doctrines which dictate that economic wealth for Mexico depended on replacing the economic monopolies held by the church and removing the foreign-born aristocracy and replacing it which a Capitalism. Upon his return to Mexico City in 1855, after the government of Santa Ana had collapsed and Mexico had ratified a new Constitution, Benito Juarez was named president of the Supreme Court and three years president of the Mexicano. Records indicate that he was initiated into The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Mexico [Gran Capítulo de Masones del Real Arco de Mexico] on January 15, 1847 at the  “La Logia Independencia, No. 2." At the time, the R.W.M. was Bro... Jose Maria del Rio. His initiation took place at the National Palace of Oaxaca and in attendance was at the time the Vice President of the nation, high member politicians, and intellectuals of the 19th Century society. Records show that in 1954 he received the 9o, and in 1862, he received the 33rd Degree and was named G∴I∴G∴

It was during his term as President of the Supreme court and later as president that he instituted major reforms. He was responsible for eliminating specials courts solely for clergy and military demanding judicial equality to foster social equality. In addition, he passed the Lerdo Law abolishing the church dominion of their large states and allowing the rest of society the ability to own land and creating a middle class and lastly promulgating a liberal constitution. 

During his presidency, he attempted to help Mexico find its financial foundation. At this time Napoleon attempted to establish rule in Mexico via Austrian Archduke Maximilian attempting to regain the colonies lost. Over the next three years, Benito Juarez was again in exile and Mexico divided.  While Maximilian rule the capital and was under French rule the countryside was under populace rule. In 1867, the French finally withdrew, and Benito Juarez returned to the presidency. His last four years were of great accomplishment. He coordinated the rebuilding of the country’s infrastructure, he structured the power to military and expropriating the church’s holdings to the poor, while promoting free speech and press. 

To this day, every January 15th, a ceremony is held to celebrate the legacy of Bro... Benito Juarez 33by The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Mexico [Gran Capitulo de Masones del Real Arco de Mexico] where at the place dedicated for him is adorned, next to the six point pointed Masonic star with the letter "G", with a banner that reads:

"'A∴T∴D∴L∴V∴Y∴P∴D∴G∴H∴’ Al triunfo de la verdad y progreso del genero humano, ‘T∴T∴T∴O∴T∴A∴P∴O∴H∴‘ To the triumph of truth and progress of humanity."

Bro∴ Benito Pablo Juarez


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