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Tema: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

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    Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
    Book review of Gabriel Garcia Moreno by Mary Monica Maxwell-Scott (London, 1914)
    Reprinted by the Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success (Oconomowoc, 2004), 185 pp.

    Abbotsford House in Scotland, home of author and her great-grandfather Sir Walter Scott
    I first came across Gabriel Garcia Moreno, Regenerator of Ecuador by the Hon. Mrs. Mary Monica Maxwell-Scott some 20 years ago. It was a well-written historical work, as I expected, the author being the great-granddaughter of novelist Sir Walter Scott and an accomplished historical dramatist in her own right. (1)
    1. Some works by the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott include Tragedy of Fotheringay (biography of Mary Queen of Scots), Madame Elizabeth of France 1764-1794, The Life of Madame de la Rochejaquelein, and St. Frances de Sales and His Friends.
    It was a pleasant surprise, however, to find it an authentic work of piety. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott was obviously an admirer of the integrity and virile piety of that great Catholic statesman. I was also pleased to find her an enthusiast of the Catholic social order, supporting the views of the Catholic President of Ecuador who rejected the liberal ideas of Freemasonry that dominated 19th-century South American politics. Courageously going against the tide, Garcia Moreno insisted that Church and State work harmoniously together to build a prosperous nation.


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    After 30 chaotic years of revolutionary activity, the Liberals in Ecuador had bankrupted the country and reduced it to near anarchy. By re-establishing the order of the Republic upon the rock of social Catholic doctrine, Garcia Moreno quite literally regenerated Ecuador, providing it peace and material progress during his ten years as president.

    Why aren’t the name and achievements of such a great Catholic leader – the only President in the world to consecrate his country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – better known throughout the Americas? The answer is quite simple: Because he was an anti-liberal Catholic. Instead of praise, the revolution spread vile slanders, labeling him a regressive theocrat, a tyrant, a, religious fanatic who imposed inquisitorial methods and repressed “progress.” These baseless accusations a contrario sensu give glory to Garcia Moreno because they clearly conflict with the known historical truth and are repeated only because he did not compromise with the Revolution.

    The Concordat he signed with the Holy See as one of his first acts of government in 1862 made the State the protector and guarantor of the Church’s independence and granted it control over education. The liberals fumed; the people rejoiced. When he promulgated a new Catholic constitution in 1869 that made Catholicism the official religion of the State and required both candidates and voters for office to be Catholic, the liberals could not contain their fury and plotted several attempts on his life. After the public consecration he made of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart, he was condemned to die by the German Grand Council of Freemasonry (p. 152).

    When he was elected to a third term in 1869, the rumors of an assignation attempt by the Masonic Lodges of neighboring countries became to fly. He was warned repeatedly, even by high Prelates, but he refused to run or hide. He wrote a letter to Pope Pius IX, mentioning the threats and asking his blessing “so as to live and die for the defense of our Holy Religion of this dear Republic, which God calls me again to govern … What greater privilege still, if your blessing were to obtain for me the grace of shedding my blood for Him, who being God, desired to shed His on the Cross for me?” (p. 156).

    Some days afterward, as he left the Cathedral of Quito in midday after adoring the exposed Blessed Sacrament, Garcia Moreno was massacred at the hands of crude assassins paid by Freemasons, who viewed him as the greatest enemy to the liberal ideas they wanted to implant throughout the Americas. As one of the depraved murderers cut him down with a machete, he cried out “Die, destroyer of liberty!” Garcia Moreno responded, “God never dies.” These were his last words.

    His mutilated body was carried into the Cathedral and laid at the feet of Our Lady of Dolors, where he died a quarter of an hour later. His left arm was severed and his right hand cut off by the blows of the machete; he had been shot six times. On his breast, they found a relic of the True Cross. Around his neck were scapulars of the Passion and the Sacred Heart, and his Rosary. In his pocket was a little memorandum written in pencil that day, “My Savior Jesus Christ, give me greater love for Thee and profound humility, and teach me what I should do this day for Thy greater glory and service.”

    The liberals exulted and accelerated their campaign of calumny against him in the newspapers of the world. But the people of Ecuador grieved and his grateful country awarded him the titles of Regenerator of his Country and Martyr of Catholic Civilization. Pius IX, reigning at that time, eulogized him as a man who died “the death of a martyr, a victim to his Faith and Christian charity” (p. 163).


    President Garcia Moreno
    Lies and slanders were the only weapons the Revolution had to use against Gabriel Garcia Moreno, because to this day none can deny that this superb administrator not only restored morals and good customs, but also put his country on a sound financial basis and made innumerable reforms and improvements. He established the first major network of public highways across the country. He reformed the military; he threw out corrupt government officials and reduced the taxes.

    He reworked the judicial system and severely punished dishonest judges. He opened new schools and universities, placed them under the direction of religious orders, and established obligatory primary education. He introduced the latest science to the hospitals and eliminated the miserable conditions in prisons. He rid the country of brigands and thieves who endangered travel.

    Far from viewing his policies as “oppressive” and “tyrannical,” as the liberal press depicted them, the people championed him as the “savior of Ecuador” and loved him as a saint. The peasants said of him: “He spared us neither punishments nor corrections, but he was a true Saint. He gave us big wages and great rewards. He would recite the Rosary with us, teach the Catechism, explain the New Testament, make us go to Mass and prepare us all for Confession and Holy Communion. Peace and plenty reigned in our farms because the mere presence of this excellent Caballero banished all evil” (p. 118).

    Garcia Moreno’s mission: Foreseen by Our Lady of Good Success

    One of the reasons I became interested in learning more about Gabriel Garcia Moreno was because Our Lady of Good Success spoke of him some 250 years before his presidency. As most of my readers know, Our Lady appeared to a Spanish Conceptionist sister in the 1600s and warned her of a crisis of world proportion that would afflict the Holy Catholic Church in the 20th century. She told her that heresies would abound, the light of Faith would be nearly extinguished, impurity would inundate the world and Church “like a filthy sea,” and the corruption of morals and customs would be almost complete. (2)



    Know more
    In an apparition of January 16, 1599, she spoke about Ecuador, which she predicted would become a Republic and need the sacrifice of heroic souls to sustain it in face of many public and private calamities. Then she referred to Garcia Moreno:
    “In the 19th century, there will be a truly Catholic president, a man of character whom God Our Lord will give the palm of martyrdom on the square adjoining this Convent. He will consecrate the Republic to the Sacred Heart of my Most Holy Son and this consecration will sustain the Catholic Religion in the years that will follow, which will be ill-fated ones for the Church. These years – during which the evil sect of Masonry will take control of the civil government – will see a cruel persecution of all religious communities.” (3)

    2. See M.T. Horvat, Our Lady of Good Success: Prophecies for Our Times, (Los Angeles: TIA, 2000), pp. 53-9.

    3. Ibid., p. 37.
    The governments of Generals Juan Flores (1839-45) and José Urbina (1851-2), Freemasons and cruel persecutors of the Catholic Church, sought to close the convents and monasteries and secularize all the State institutions. The “truly Catholic president” who consecrated the nation to the Sacred Heart in 1873 was Gabriel Garcia Moreno. His life and death stand as powerful evidence of the authenticity and veracity of the messages of Our Lady of Good Success. To predict with this kind of precision the place of death of the martyr-president is something only God can do. The realization of that prediction is obviously an important factor of credibility for the prophecies.

    The life of Garcia Moreno, like the revelations of Our Lady of Good Success were relatively unknown outside of Ecuador for centuries. Now, his name comes to relevance with hers.



    On an order from the Freemasons, Garcia Morena was attacked and killed outside the Governor's Palace
    I believe Garcia Moreno has an important role in our times. Our Lady of Good Success warned about today’s crisis in Church and chastisement. But she also promised, through her intercession, a restoration of the Church and Christendom. Garcia Moreno is a model for all Catholic statesmen – present as well as those to come in a future restored Christendom.

    He also provides a model for laymen of our days, inviting them to a life of action in the temporal sphere. Against the odds of success, Garcia Moreno disciplined himself, studied, and prepared himself to govern and act in temporal sphere. “I work 16 hours a day and if there were 48 hours in a day I would work for 40 without flinching,” he wrote to one of his friends during his exile in Paris in 1853, studying history, geology, and chemistry (p. 20). He did not know if Providence would give him the opportunity to apply that knowledge, but he acted with confidence despite the almost insurmountable obstacles he knew he would face.

    He returned to Ecuador convinced that a strong Catholic man, with the assistance of Our Lord and Our Lady, could change the direction of the country, go against the tides of Liberalism, and make it an authentically Catholic nation. I am sure that many young idealistic men fighting a similar battle against Progressivism in our days can find inspiration in the life of Gabriel Garcia Moreno.

    I was quite pleased, therefore, to learn that the Our Lady of Good Success Apostolate had recently reprinted the work by the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott to make it more readily available for the American Catholic public. This short biography will whet the appetite of those Catholics who seriously desire the restoration of a Catholic social order.

    “Impossible in these days,” sardonic scoffers will say. It is the same objection that many doubters made to Garcia Moreno. To those who presented this aim as impossible, his invariable reply was this: “God never dies, God is, and that is enough. What is impossible to God?” Our answer should be the same.




    The “rule” of Garcia Moreno found after his death in his pocket.
    The discipline and piety that governed the life of Gabriel Garcia Moreno is best revealed in the brief rule of life he wrote on the last page of his Imitation of Christ, a book he always kept with him. It was found in his pocket after his death. The rule reads:

    Gabriel Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador (1861-1865, 1869-1875)

    “Every morning when saying my prayers I will ask especially for humility. Every day I will hear Mass, say the Rosary and will read, besides, a chapter from the Imitation, this Rule and the instruction added to it.

    “I will endeavor to keep myself as much as possible in the presence of God, especially during conversations that I might not exceed in words. I will often offer my heart to God, principally before beginning any actions.

    “Every hour I will say to myself: ‘I am worse than a demon and hell should be my dwelling place.’ In temptations I will add: ‘What would I think of this in my last agony?’

    “In my room, never to pray sitting when I can do so on my knees or standing.

    “Practice daily little acts of humility, as kissing the ground.

    “To rejoice when I or my actions are censured. Never to speak of myself except to avow my faults or defects.

    “To make efforts, by thinking of Jesus and Mary, to restrain my impatience and go against my natural inclinations.

    “To be kind to all, even with the importunate, and never to speak ill of my enemies.

    “Every morning before beginning my work, I will write down what I have to do, being very careful to distribute my time well, to give myself only to useful and necessary business, and to continue it with zeal and perseverance.

    “I will scrupulously observe the law of justice and truth, and have no intentions in all my actions save the greater glory of God…

    “I will go to confession every week…

    “I will never pass more than an hour in any amusement, and in general never before 8 o’clock in the evening.”
    All who knew him affirmed how conscientiously and scrupulously Garcia Moreno followed these resolutions.

    Marian Horvat reviews Gabriel Garcia Moreno by Mary Maxwell-Scott

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    The Last Day of Gabriel Garcia Moreno

    Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

    One of the highlights of my pilgrimage to Quito was to follow the footsteps of President Gabriel García Moreno, the ”truly Catholic president” Our Lady of Good Success predicted would come in the 19th century and consecrate the country to the Sacred Heart.

    In a fledgling Republic dominated by liberal Freemasons who had evicted the Jesuits and were ruthlessly persecuting the Church, a statesman of different ilk entered Ecuador’s political scene in the 1860s. In the 15 years of his rule, Gabriel Garcia Moreno made that small portion of land - so dearly loved by Our Lord and Our Lady - the model of a Catholic State.


    One of the last photos of Garcia Moreno (1821-1875)

    As head of State, his first priority was to re-establish for the Church all the rights that the Revolution had denied her, thereby raising the implacable hatred of the Radicals and Socialists. They called him autocratic because he refused concessions to the revolutionary party. They labeled him harsh because he rebuffed any deals with evil. “Liberty for everyone and for everything, save for evil and evildoers,” was his motto.

    One of his first acts was to issue a Concordat restoring liberty to the Church. In 1867 he established a constitutional government under the Kingship of Christ. In 1870, it was Ecuador – alone among all the nations of the world – that publicly protested the invasion of the Papal States and offered a national subsidy for the captive Pope. In 1873 he formally consecrated the Republic to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    The enraged Socialists and Freemasons who lost their offices when Garcia Moreno assumed the presidency made calumny campaigns against him. But nothing succeeded in turning the people against one so honest and good. Instead, they called him “Father of the People.” Under him Catholic schools and universities prospered, the national debt was dissolved, highways and infrastructure were built, criminals were placed behind bars or hanged, and the streets were safe.

    The more the people loved him, the greater the hatred of the Masons. According to biographers, there were six failed intrigues against his life after he became a major public figure in 1860.


    The plaque on the Presidential Palace: Here assassinated President of the Republic Dr. Gabriel Garcia Moreno fell on August 6, 1875
    When he won re-election to the Presidency in 1875, his death was decreed by the Masonic Lodges of Germany – led by anti-Catholic Grand Master Otto von Bismarck. Warned of this danger, he wrote in his last letter to Pope Pius IX, “May I be deemed worthy to shed my blood for the cause of the Church and Catholic society.”

    In early August of 1875, with preparations underway for the inaugural address as re-elected President on August 10, rumors were rife in Quito that a new plot to assassinate the President was underway. On August 5, a priest begged admittance to his office to warn him that an attack was being planned for the next day. He begged the President to take measures.

    Garcia Moreno replied, “The only measure to take after calm reflection is to prepare myself to appear before God,” and he continued his work, unperturbed.

    On the afternoon of August 6, Garcia Moreno was attacked by an assassin with a machete and three accomplices armed with revolvers on the porch of the Presidential Palace. Still alive he was carried to the Cathedral and died there at the feet of the altar of Our Lady of Sorrow shortly afterwards.

    A lecture by an expert


    Dr. Salazar, under his great-uncle's picture

    Our pilgrimage group had the good fortune to follow the last day in the life of Garcia Moreno with Dr. Francisco Salazar Alvarado as lecturer and guide. His great uncle was General Francisco Javier Salazar, Minister of War under President Garcia Moreno and his close and trusted friend. Growing up in a family where there was constant talk of Garcia Moreno, Dr. Salazar’s interest in him grew. Later, as a diplomat, professor and journalist, he delved much more deeply into the life of his hero.

    He shared his findings and anecdotes with us, clearing up many discrepancies and errors in the various accounts I had read about Garcia Moreno’s death.

    I invite my readers to follow in the footsteps of Garcia Moreno on that last day of his life, as I recount the lecture of Dr. Salazar to our group, which I taped and now transcribe. (1) Later that evening at his home, he permitted me to scan several photos from his private collection, some of which I will reproduce for the reader here.

    His last morning

    It was August 6, 1875, First Friday, the day dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The President, following his normal routine, walked from his house along one side of Santo Domingo Plaza [see picture] the short distance to Santo Domingo Church for the 6:00 a.m. Mass. In the Calvary side altar, there is a plaque that reads, “Here Dr. Gabriel Garcia Moreno received Holy Communion on First Friday, August 6, 1875, before being assassinated.”


    At left, Santo Domingo plaza - his house is one of the three shown on the side of the Church; at right, a view of the Church interior
    He returned to his home to work for a while and then take a light breakfast with his wife Mariana at 9:30 a.m. He usually walked to the Presidential Palace after his meal, but that day he remained home to work on his inaugural speech he planned to deliver to Congress on August 10. The conspirators, who had planned their attack for that morning, were frustrated at this change in routine but remained resolved to attack that day.

    At 1:00 p.m., he left for the Palace, accompanied only by his aide-de-camp Manuel Pallares. He stopped briefly to greet his in-laws, the Alcazar family, on Sucre Street near the Jesuit Church, la Compania. Because he had been ill and the weather was cool, he buttoned up his coat and continued on his way.

    He made one more short stop, at the Cathedral, entering the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. After this visit he left, directing himself to the Government Palace. The conspirators were ready.

    At the steps of the Presidential Palace he greeted several persons, including Faustino Rayo, who would shortly strike the first brutal machete blow. Rayo, who held a grudge against Moreno for dismissing him from a lucrative office because of his dishonest practices, had taken up leatherwork. He pretended, however, to be on friendly terms with the President, who had recently contracted him to make a saddle for his young son (his only living child), Gabriel García del Alcázar.

    He climbed the side stairs to the porch with its thick colonial pillars. At that time there were no railings between the columns, as we see today. In fact, the scrolled black grills came from the famous Tuilleries Palace in Paris, torn down by the revolutionaries and ordered by Garcia Moreno himself for Ecuador’s Palace. They would only arrive and be installed, however, after his death.


    The Cathedral (at left) and Presidential Palace in the Grand Plaza; at right, the place where Garcia Moreno fell

    He was approaching the Treasury Department’s entrance into the Palace. There, Rayo rushed forward and attacked him with a machete. The first blow struck his hat, which flew off his head and landed in the plaza below. Rayo delivered more blows, and his fellow conspirators took position and fired their guns. Their bullets only grazed him.


    An actual photo taken of the President on the Plaza after his fall; below, a second, taken in the Cathedral

    Afterward, the infamous cry of Rayo, “Die, tyrant!”

    And the beautiful response of Garcia Moreno, staggering from the wounds, “Dios no muere!” “God does not die.” These were the last words of a line he had often repeated, “I am only a man who can be killed and replaced, but God does not die.”

    Another shout came from Rayo and fellow assassin Roberto Andrade, “Die, Jesuit!” It was a way to say “Die, lover of Jesuits,” an Order that had been expelled by the anticlerical regime that preceded Moreno’s first presidency. One of his early acts in 1860 had been to invite the Jesuits back and to return their buildings.

    Garcia Moreno tried to take out his revolver to defend himself, but his wounded hand made him fumble as he tried to unbutton his jacket. Rayo struck with the machete again, this time nearly severing the left arm. More shots sounded from the pistols of the other conspirators, Roberto Andrade, Manuel Cornejo and Abelardo Moncalyo. Again, their shots only grazed the body.

    After Rayo’s last vicious blow, the President staggered and fell from the porch to the ground some ten to twelve feet below, landing in front of a tavern. Today on the wall over that spot is a simple stone marker. It all happened in just a few minutes, according to witnesses.

    The fatal blows

    His arm broke in the fall, but Garcia Moreno was still alive. The autopsy report, made shortly after his death, (2) said that up until this time he had received no fatal wounds. One cannot help but wonder: Where was the aide-de-camp Manual Pallares?

    Instead of stepping forward to protect him, he had turned to run for help, leaving the President defenseless. Was he part of the plot? That was never proved, but there was little doubt in the minds of many – including the aunts of Dr. Salazar who often remarked on the incident – that he was a coward.


    The hat he was wearing
    The sound of the shots had attracted the attention of the people in the square and in the military quarters across the Plaza, where General Salazar was working that day. Women from the tavern and nearby shops had rushed to the fallen President; others were milling around the scene.

    Rayo and his accomplices raced down the steps to finish their shameful assignment. Pushing the women aside, Rayo struck repeated blows with his machete, including the two fatal wounds to the head, one that severed a part of his skull. More shots were fired; again the bullets only grazed the body of the President.

    Shouting revolutionary slogans like “Down with tyranny,” “Now we are free,” the assassins fled. Rayo tried to make his escape also, but he was behind the others. Hearing the gunshots, General Salazar had ordered troops out into the square. Now, three soldiers grabbed the fleeing Rayo and started to march him to the military headquarters.



    Above right, the Cathedral's main altar; at left on a side wall, the 20-foot cross the President carried in the Holy Week procession

    Below left, Our Lady of Sorrows altar (behind the main altar) where he was laid; below right, the place - marked with a wood frame - where he died

    The news was flying right and left: “The President has been shot and killed.” “The scoundrel Rayo is the murderer.” In the confusion, an order was heard, “Kill the assassin!”

    A sergeant fired a shot and killed Rayo there in the middle of the square. In his pockets were large amounts of Peruvian currency, the Judas payment of the Masons which would allow him to flee Ecuador and live in Peru. The crowds took his body, dragging it through the streets, and left it unburied for the vultures to feed upon.

    General Salazar arrived at the scene of the dying President and ordered Garcia Moreno to be taken to the Cathedral. His massacred body was placed at the feet of the shrine of Our Lady of Sorrow, to whom he had a great devotion. The priest who administered the Last Rites asked the dying President if he forgave his enemies. With effort Garcia Moreno opened his eyes, his expression affirming his assent. Shortly afterward, he expired.

    On the breast of the President was a relic of the true cross, a scapular of the Passion and the Sacred Heart, and his rosary, along with a medal of Pope Pius IX. In his pocket was his copy of The Imitation of Christ, with his rule of life written on the last page [read here]. Penciled in on that page were these few words, “My Savior Jesus Christ, give me a greater love of Thee and profound humility, and teach me what I should do this day for Thy greater glory and service.”

    A foiled revolution

    The revolutionaries had hoped that the assassination of Garcia Moreno would spark a revolution among the people, who would rally around the Masonic ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and reject the Catholic Church. Instead, the opposite happened. The people of the nation mourned their lost President, naming him the Father and Regenerator of Ecuador and regarding him as a martyr for the Catholic Faith.

    His wounds were stitched – amazingly, no vital organ was severed in the brutal attack – and his body was dressed in full ceremonial uniform and set up in a chair in the corner of the second floor of the Cathedral courtyard. A five-man honor guard took up position behind him, and the people traveled for miles to process past his corpse and pay him homage.


    A rare photo of Garcia Moreno's corpse with the honor guard in the Cathedral courtyard; at right,the corner with a marker as it appears today

    At the funeral on Sunday, Garcia Moreno’s body was also set up in a chair, facing the audience, as a high tribute to the fallen President. He was buried in the Cathedral, but his body did not find a final peace there.

    Eight years later, with the country in revolutionary chaos, the friends and family of Garcia Moreno feared his remains could be removed and desecrated by the Liberals. In the middle of the night, they removed his corpse and placed it in a hidden place, unknown to the world until Dr. Salazar entered the history of Garcia Moreno in 1973 and began his quest to discover it.

    His great adventure will be related in the next article.
    1. For some details, I referred to Dr. Salazar’s book, Encuentro con la historia: Garcia Moreno, líder católico de Latinoamérica [Encounter With History: Garcia Moreno, Catholic Leader of Latin America], available in Spanish in English from Our Lady of Good Success Apostolate. I also referred to the scholarly work Gabriel García Moreno and Conservative State Formation in the Andes by Peter V. N. Henderson (University of Texas Press, 2008).

    2. An official report of the autopsy made at 5 p.m. that afternoon can be found in Encounter with History, Documents section, pp. 178-182, or, in the Spanish copy Encuentro con la historia, pp. 227-234.

    The Last Day of Gabriel Garcia Moreno by Marian T. Horvat

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    Discovery of Garcia Moreno's &
    Archbishop Checa's Remains


    Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

    Eight years after Gabriel Garcia Moreno was murdered on that tragic August 6, 1875, renovation work began in the chapel where his coffin rested in Quito’s Cathedral. Family members feared that his enemies, still seething with resentments against the Catholic President, would take advantage of the situation to desecrate his body.

    On the evening of March 27, 1883, the deteriorating wood coffin containing his body and a smaller box with his embalmed heart in a crystal vial were rolled in a carpet and smuggled out of the Cathedral by friends and transferred to the house of his mother-in-law. The skeleton was placed in a new coffin, marked with the letters GGM formed with yellow nails, and transferred to a secret place. Only a few trusted friends and priests knew the location. These precautions convey the extremely hostile political climate of that time and the Liberals’ intense hatred for Garcia Moreno.


    Garcia Moreno, at right Archbishop Ignatius Checa y Barba
    Years passed, and the persons privy to the secret died. Only rumors lingered: Some said the coffin was hidden at Carmel Bajo (a Carmelite convent); others, at the Dominican Convent of St. Catherine of Siena or St. John’s Cloister; yet others, at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

    This remained the state of affairs until 1973, when the Ecuadorian Conservative Party started preparations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of Garcia Moreno. It would be shameful to be without his mortal remains on this occasion, thought Dr. Francisco Salazar, a member of the special planning committee. He made the decision then to do everything in his power to find the corpse, hidden for 90 years.

    A surprise discovery of the hearts

    This was an Old World search, without computers or high-tech technology. The secret of the President’s hidden body was given to trustworthy persons who passed it on from one generation to another. Dr. Salazar needed to find those key persons. With an essential letter from the Cardinal authorizing his search, he entered the different convents to speak to the Superiors and make his inquiries.


    Good Shepherd Church in Quito

    Two years passed, and in March of 1975, a commission was formed to offer more support to Dr. Salazar’s work. His interviews had narrowed the search to two Convents: the Good Shepherd Sisters (an Order rought to Ecuador from France by President Garcia Moreno and dedicated to rehabilitating fallen women) and the Dominican Church and Convent of Santa Catalina.

    At Good Shepherd Convent, Dr. Salazar spoke to a very old sister who claimed it was not the body of Garcia Moreno that had been hidden in her Convent, but rather, the embalmed hearts of the President and the murdered Archbishop Ignatius Checa y Barba (poisoned for refusing to cooperate with the Masonic government). But she refused to say anything more. She told him she could only give this information to the Mother Superior.

    So Mother Maria de Santa Eufrasia questioned the Sister and learned one of the Convent’s best hidden secrets: The boxes containing the hearts of the President and Archbishop were in two of the columns in the Church. Which ones? She did not know, but that precious data allowed a focused search to begin.

    On April 8, a day he still recalls with joy, Dr. Salazar, accompanied by the Mother Superior and sisters as witnesses, entered the Convent Church with a workman. His method was simple. Knocking on the columns with his hands, he found one in the lower choir with a hollow telltale ring about five feet up the column, signaling an interior opening. The workman opened it to reveal a cavity two feet deep and 15 inches high.

    Inside was a light colored wood box, and on it were these handwritten words: February 21, 1913, the Heart of Archbishop of Quito His Excellency Ignatius Checa. In the box was a flask with the embalmed heart of the poisoned Archbishop and an official document signed by Archbishop Federico González Suárez describing the contents. The heart, drained of blood, has a whitish color and is marked by a black spot, a sign of the poison that killed the Archbishop.


    At left, Good Shepherd Church with its thick square columns;
    at right, Dr. Salazar removing the first box from the column

    In the pillar across from it, they found a similar niche at the same height and another wood box, this one of dark cedar. On its lid were these words: February 21, 1913, the Heart of the Illustrious Prelate Dom G. Garcia Moreno. Inside, another flask with the embalmed heart of the President and another signed letter of the Archbishop (Encuentros, Documentos, pp. 259-260).

    Addressed to the Superior of Good Shepherd Convent, that letter ordered that the hearts be conserved in a hidden place inside the Church. To understand this directive, issued almost 50 years after the assassination of the President, one must know something about that turbulent period in Ecuador’s history.

    Unsettled times

    In the 3rd apparition of Our Lady to Mother Mariana on January 16, 1599, she told the Conceptionist religious that the years following the Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart would be ill-fated ones. She accurately prophesized that “the accursed sect of Masonry will take command of the civil government” and that there would be a “cruel persecution of all religious communities.” (The Admirable Life, Vol. 1, pp 141-142)


    Francisco Salazar and Cardinal Pablo Munoz Vega with the crystal vials

    In fact from 1895 to 1925 - the Liberal Era - the Freemasons established a laicized State with laws of civil matrimony, divorce and equal rights for all religions. At the same time the Church was persecuted: The Jesuits were expelled from the country, education was secularized, and laws were passed despoiling the properties and goods of religious communities. That persecution was particularly intense under President Eloy Alfaro, the standard-bearer of the Radical Liberal Party.

    With the overthrow and murder of Alfaro in 1911, Ecuador found itself in the throes of a bitter civil war. In that turbulent climate, Quito’s Archbishop judged it prudent to secure the hearts of the two conservative heroes in a secret place. Thus they were hidden in the Church of the Good Shepherd Convent in 1913.

    After the death of Archbishop Checa in 1877, his successors adopted the policy of keeping the Church out of all politics for the rest of that lamentable Liberal Era. Instead of encouraging the militant Catholic conservatives to rally against the Masonic government, they kept silent. The persecution of the Church continued and her action was severely restricted, but this was considered by the ecclesiastic authorities to be a “lesser evil” than facing the bloodshed and martyrdom sure to come with active resistance.

    This sad stance of Church authorities continues to this day, who make little to no resistance against the present-day Communist government.

    In the Oblates’ private chapel

    For some months, the crystal vials with the hearts of Garcia Moreno and Archbishop Checa had a place of distinction on the desk of Dr. Salazar in his home library. He recalls those days with fondness as an unexpected benefit of his search and an honor for his family.


    The plaque reads: Picture before which the National Consecration of Equador was made

    Finally, Church authorities decided they should be entrusted to the Oblate Fathers of the Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The vials were placed in the Congregation’s private chapel in their residence next to the Basilica of the National Vow. Pilgrims to Quito should make a special point of ringing their doorbell to ask to venerate the two hearts. In addition, another treasure awaits them.

    In that chapel over the altar is the original picture commissioned by President Garcia Moreno to commemorate the Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The decree of the Consecration was passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by Garcia Moreno on October 18, 1873 at the Government Palace, where the picture was given a place of honor in the Congressional Hall.

    The picture was removed when the Liberal government was installed following Garcia Moreno’s death. Its animus against the Consecration was so great that at the turn of the century it went so far as to officially “de-consecrate” the country to the Sacred Heart.

    The picture has its own history of loss and discovery, too long to relate here. Suffice it to say that today that impressive picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus stands custody in the Oblates chapel over the human hearts of the two murdered heroes. The crystal vial containing Garcia Moreno’s heart is in a small niche on the right side of the altar, with Archbishop Checa’s directly opposite to the left side of the altar.

    Three days after that surprising discovery, Dr. Salazar would have what he calls “the greatest day of my life”: The bodily remains of Don Gabriel Garcia Moreno were finally found. That is the topic of my next article.


    The Oblates' chapel, where one can venerate the hearts of Archbishop Checa and Garcia Moreno
    Photo credit, Mathieu Guillory, Excelsior Tours
    1. These facts were in a letter found with the remains of Garcia Moreno written by Rafael Varéla, a friend of the family. Encounters with History, Documents, pp. 189-190; Encuentro con la Historia, Documentos, pp. 259-260

    Discovery of the Hearts of Garcia Moreno and Archbishop Checa y Barba by Marian T. Horvat

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    The Search for Garcia Moreno’s Corpse Ends

    Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

    Our pilgrimage group moved from the Cathedral where Garcia Moreno’s macerated body was placed before Our Lady of Sorrows to the Dominican Convent of St. Catherine of Sienna. Dr. Francisco Salazar continued his story from the upper choir of its church, where we could see the place in the right hand corner where the body was finally discovered.


    Above, St. Catherine's Church; below, the body was found at the altar's right

    After the discovery of Garcia Moreno’s heart on April 11, 1975, Salazar was accompanied by the Bishop to the Dominican Convent, where his research led him to believe the remains of the President were hidden. The Bishop ordered the Mother Superior to cooperate fully in the search.

    Decisive evidence appears

    The next day, Dr. Salazar spoke with one of the older nuns, Sister Ana Maria Arroyo, who had some interesting information. She had four documents that affirmed that Garcia Moreno’s body had indeed been buried in the convent. One can to see how well kept secrets were in the silence of the cloisters.

    She had in her possession three notes signed by a Sister who had safeguarded them for year, after they had been entrusted to her by another Mother whose family had been closely connected to Garcia Moreno. The first one, signed March 19, 1923, said, “I am going to die and I want to confide a secret to you that only a few Mothers know. The venerable remains of the Illustrious Martyr Gabriel García Moreno are in our Church, placed there by his son Gabriel in the company of the Very Reverend Fathers Vacas Galindo and Juan Maria Riera in 1895, when Alfaro took power in our Country. They are located where today we keep the Church ladders. This is recorded for when they will undertake his beatification. She told me others things that I am not saying here, since this seems sufficient.” (Encuentros, p. 23)

    A second note, signed by the same Sister and dated February 28, 1941, added a detail: The body had first been buried under the main altar, but then removed because it was feared it might be discovered there.

    The third, dated 1959 and addressed to the Cardinal from the Mother Superior at that time, was to notify him a priest had asked permission to search for the body of Garcia Moreno in the Church. The Cardinal’s reply, the fourth note, also dated 1959, explained there was no need to search for the location of the body of Garcia Moreno since he knew exactly where it was and could arrange for its exhumation when he deemed the time right.

    But that Cardinal never judged the time right. He died nine years later without exhuming the body or telling anyone the secret. The only recourse for Dr. Salazar was to follow the lead of the main altar and the hint about the ladders. On April 14, 1975, he ordered workmen to raise the floorboards under the main altar. The space was there, but it was empty, as the note had affirmed.

    Excavations, but no body

    More floorboards were lifted to the right of the altar, then to the left, then on to the side altars. Dr. Salazar complimented the patience of the Mother Superior, who had to bear the checkerboard work he directed of lifting squares of floorboard throughout the Church.

    The key question remained unanswered: Where were the ladders stored more than 20 years ago? No one knew. So Dr. Salazar returned to his best source of information, questioning the oldest sisters. One of them took him to the upper choir, where our group was standing that day, and pointed to a place near the door to the right of the sacristy. She recalled being told when she was still young that the Garcia Moreno’s remains were there. It seemed illogical – to store ladders in front of a door, or to bury a body in its doorway.


    The hole near the side door
    Then he learned the door was only recently constructed, an addition made by the present Mother Superior as an entry for the priest so he would not have to use the main door. The walls around the door were searched. Nothing was found. The floorboards were lifted. Again, nothing.

    At the end of the day, Dr. Salazar ordered the workmen to dig into the ground close to the door. Under the floorboards, the workmen found the supporting beam and, around it, earth. They poked the ground with bars. Suddenly, one of them plunged into an empty space. A hole! After removing the soil, they could see a large box in a space about 4 feet deep. The hole was dark, surrounded by earth.

    “I’m going in,” Salazar announced.

    “Aren’t you afraid of ghosts?” asked one apprehensive sister.

    “Not a bit,” he replied, trembling with excitement, not fear, at the thought he was at the end of his quest. Candle in hand, he entered the hole and raised the lid of the box. He saw something bright reflecting the candlelight. It was a crystal vial. In it he could make out a photograph of Garcia Moreno. This is it, he thought. We have the remains of Garcia Moreno. He put his hand in the place he thought the head should be, but only felt some velvet cloth.

    He brought the vial up, determined it should be opened and read before further exploration was made. Authorities were called as witnesses, and with two blows, the vial was broken. Inside was the photograph of Garcia Moreno with these words on the back: Portrait of President Garcia Moreno, assassinated August 6, 1875. The picture had been cut to fit in the vial and some of the words had been cut off. It also held two testimonial documents, one signed by a close friend of the President, Rafael Varela and the other by his brother-in-law Ignatius del Alcazar. (1)



    At left, the crystal vial, at right front and back of the photo inside

    For Dr. Salazar, the most significant line was in the document of Varela, which began, “For relatives or friends in memory of Dr. Gabriel Garcia Moreno.” “This is written for me,” Salazar thought. “I am not a relative or religious, but I am a friend.” He continued, “Still today, every time I retell this story, I am filled with emotion as I recall reading that line and the events of that day.”


    The contents of the coffin
    Cardinal Munoz Vega was notified and arrived shortly to inspect the contents of the box. On its lid, they found the yellow nails spelling GGM. The body had decomposed and only the skeleton remained, as seen in the picture at right. Atop the skull was a velvet cap, which is what Dr. Salazar had felt when he placed his hand in the coffin earlier.

    Official confirmation

    During the medical examination of the body, it was noted that a small part of the skull was missing. A piece of the skull severed from the head of Garcia Moreno during the brutal assassination was housed at the Espinosa Polit Museum. So that remnant was brought to the Convent. It fit perfectly into the missing place in the skull. “For me and everyone present,” Dr. Salazar told us, "this was the final proof."“

    Dr. Salazar placed the box and remains of Garcia Moreno into another coffin that he purchased. The Dominican Church was closed to the public, and on June 27, 1975, the Bishops of Quito met there to verify and officially proclaim that the skeleton was that of Garcia Moreno.



    At left, Dr. Salazar lifts the skull to examine, at right, the Prelates examine the remains

    On August 6, 1975, the 100th anniversary of the death of Gabriel Garcia Moreno, his remains were transferred with solemnity from St. Catherine Church to the Cathedral. There his corpse was placed in a crypt in a side niche to the left of the main altar, where the people of Ecuador - and pilgrims like us - can pay homage to him.

    Later Dr. Salazar showed to my friend Judy Mead and me some of his prized relics that he kept in memory of his discovery: some of the lining of the cap found on the skull, the Paris tag and golden cuff from the jacket he was wearing, and his greatest treasure, the first cervical vertebrae from the body of Garcia Moreno.



    At left, Dr. Salazar displays his treasures to Judy (in pink) and me; at right, the vertebrae of Garcia Moreno

    We had the privilege to venerate that good-sized relic of the great Catholic President who had so valiantly and successfully defeated the Liberal policies promoted by Freemasonry in that turbulent period of South American history.

    Our Lady of Good Success & Garcia Moreno

    His interest in Garcia Moreno brought Dr. Salazar to the knowledge of Our Lady of Good Success. He was fascinated to learn that the Our Lady had foretold in the 1600s – with perfect accuracy – that a President would come in the 19th century who would combat Freemasonry, consecrate the Country to the Sacred Heart, and die a martyr’s death.



    The crypt with Garcia Moreno's remains in Quito's Cathedral

    By speaking of this man who boldly countered the Liberal politics of his day, I believe Our Lady was clearly showing her disapproval of the new notion of separation of Church and State, always condemned by the Church and Popes.

    It is sad to see that today the post-Vatican II Popes and Hierarchy have aligned themselves with the principles of the Enlightenment, which are fundamentally the same ones that Garcia Moreno combated.

    Our Lady of Good Success predicted not only the crisis in the Faith that we are experiencing today, but she also announced the restoration of the Church and Christendom. We who share the ideals of the “truly Catholic President” Gabriel Garcia Moreno are also privileged to participate in this fight to establish the Kingship of Christ on earth.
    1. The texts of the two letters found in the vial can be read in Encuentro con la Historia, pp 245-255, or Encounter with History, pp. 185-191.

    The Search for Garcia Moreno’s Corpse Ends by Marian T. Horvat

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    August 6 – Garcia Moreno: Heroic President of Ecuador

    August 4, 2011

    by José Maria dos Santos
    Gabriel Garcia Moreno, heroic President of Ecuador, assassinated for his Faith and Christian Charity.


    Manly Catholic of intransigent principles, slain by the enemies of the Faith because of his consistency and courage in defense of the Church and Papacy
    Gabriel Garcia Moreno was born in Guayaquil, in southern Ecuador on December 24, 1821. His father, Gabriel Garcia Gómez was Spanish, while his mother, Doña Mercedes Moreno, was a member of the local aristocracy. Tragedy visited the family when the father died suddenly in his youth, shortly after losing his fortune. His young widow employed a priest to teach her son his first letters. Later, Gabriel continued his studies at the Colegio de San Fernando in Quito.
    Moved by religious fervor, Garcia Moreno received minor orders in 1838, but became convinced that he did not have a priestly vocation and ended up studying law. After his schooling, Gabriel devoted his life to politics.
    He became Commissioner of War in the northern jurisdiction, but in 1846 was involved with some periodicals that were highly critical of Ecuador’s government. Nevertheless, he collaborated with the regime during the threat of invasion by General Flores in 1847. He was an active member of the Municipal Council of Quito and later became Governor of Guayas.
    Due to political turmoil, he was exiled in 1848 and traveled to Europe the following year.
    When he returned, he dedicated himself to politics once again. In 1853, he successfully lobbied for Ecuador to receive the Jesuits expelled from Colombia.
    He soon won a senatorial election, but was exiled a second time before taking his seat. During his deportation, he diligently applied himself to study in France. He worked so hard that his health began to suffer. During this time, he wrote: “I recognize that I have abused my strength and nearly did myself more damage. Neither my head nor my strength are proportional to the energy of my will.”1
    Returning, he got involved in the cultural life of the country, where he fulfilled many important functions. In 1857, he was elected mayor of Quito and rector of the local university. Shortly, as a senator, he gained notoriety for his fiery speeches. On April 2, 1861, he became President of Ecuador.

    A Providential Mission: Free the Country from Chaos

    Originally, Ecuador and Venezuela were part of a larger nation called Great Colombia, which was created by Bolívar in the early 1800s, after the war of independence.
    When Great Colombia collapsed in 1830, Ecuador became a nation. Revolutions followed that threw the nation into chaos. Bad government and sectional resentments ravaged the country to such an extent, that the Catholic Church was the only unifying factor in Ecuador.
    Garcia Moreno took advantage of this situation to mold the government after the Faith, which was deeply rooted throughout the nation.
    His work was difficult because Catholics had been practically orphaned by a lax clergy that often failed in its duties. Seminaries were decadent, religious instruction was wanting and whole sections of the population were left without guidance. Ecuador needed a strong leader. Garcia Moreno was so well suited for this task that even his detractors admit that he was the man Ecuador needed at that critical time.
    Historian Calderón García described Garcia Moreno’s character and work as: “Indefatigable, stoic, just, energetic in his decisions, admirably logical in his life, Garcia Moreno is one of the greatest personalities in the history of the Americas.…In fifteen years he completely transformed his little country according to a vast political system that only death prevented him from completing. He was a mystic of the Spanish type, not satisfied with sterile contemplation, he needed action. He was an organizer and a creator.”2
    Throughout his entire administration, Church doctrine guided his actions. “His philosophy was inspired in the classical doctrine of Thomism.”3
    The cross carried by President Garcia Moreno during Ecuador's Holy Week procession.



    Resolution of the President: Concordat with the Holy See

    When Garcia Moreno assumed the presidency, the Church in Ecuador was beset with insubordination, immorality and laxity, due largely to an abuse of authority that limited the power of the Holy See regarding religious affairs. The president immediately drafted a concordat to correct this abuse.
    The document’s first article gives the tonic note of the whole. It stipulates that the Catholic Church would continue to be the State religion and preserve the rights and prerogatives afforded Her by the Law of God and cannon law. All dissident worship was prohibited.
    It states: “the instruction of the youth in the universities, high schools, colleges, public and private schools will all be in accordance with the Catholic Religion,”4 because “The Catholic Religion was one of the few bonds of Ecuadorian nationality…Catholicism is a force of political cohesion.”5 Thus, “the fundamental articles [of the concordat] were not attacked, nor were amendments proposed to them.”6

    Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    However, Garcia Moreno’s adhesion to the Faith was not limited to internal affairs. When the Papal States were invaded in 1870, Garcia Moreno was the only ruler in the world to protest. He wrote to the Minister of Foreign Relations of Italy, decrying the Italian government’s robbery of pontifical land.
    The grateful Pope sent him a Decoration of the First Class in the Order of Pius IX with a brief commendation, dated March 27, 1871.7
    “As a manifestation of solidarity with the Holy See, [Garcia Moreno] decreed in 1873, that the Supreme Pontiff be sent ten percent of the state’s tithes.”8
    However, the most symbolic act of Garcia Moreno’s government was the ecclesiastical and civil consecration of the Republic to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During its ceremonial consummation, the president affirmed: “I recognize the faith of the Ecuadorian people, and that Faith imposes on me the sacred obligation of conserving its deposit intact.”9
    Years before, a decree of the Constitutional Convention had declared the Virgin of Mercies Patroness of Ecuador.
    Garcia Moreno's tomb in the crypt of the Cathedral of Quito



    Assassinated for His Devotion to the Catholic Faith

    This government, led by the religious fervor of its president, worried the Masonic sects, which immediately began planning his assassination.
    Perhaps Garcia Moreno foresaw his demise. During this time, he wrote to Pius IX: “What a treasure it is for me Holy Father, to be hated and calumniated for my love for Our Divine Redeemer. What happiness, if your blessing were to obtain for me from Heaven the grace of shedding my blood for Him, Who, being God, willed to shed His Blood for us on the Cross!”10
    On August 6, 1875, Garcia Moreno entered the Cathedral to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Conspirators interrupted his prayer to tell him he was urgently needed next door at the presidential palace.
    Garcia Moreno immediately left the Church. While climbing the steps in front of the palace, a ruffian named Royo struck him in the back of the head with a machete, crying out: “death to the tyrant!” He then almost hacked off the president’s arms as he tried to fend off his assassin’s blows. Meanwhile, three accomplices shot him in the chest.
    Mortally wounded, Garcia Moreno was then thrown down onto the plaza, where Royo struck him several more times on the head. While agonizing, he managed to wet his finger in his own blood and write on the ground: “Dios no muere” (God does not die).
    He was carried quickly to the Cathedral, where he received Extreme Unction and died.
    Learning the sad news, Pius IX declared that Ecuador:
    distinguished itself miraculously by the spirit of justice and the unshakable faith of its president, who showed himself always a submissive son of the Church, full of devotion to the Holy See and of zeal to maintain Religion and piety in his whole nation…
    So it was, that in the councils of darkness organized by the sects, those villains decreed the assassination of the illustrious President. He fell under the steel of an assassin as a victim of his Faith and of his Christian Charity.11
    Footnotes

    1. Cartas Inéditas. Garcia Moreno to Roberto Ascásubi. Piura, April 20, 1855: in Ricardo Pattée, trans. Cecília F. Vargas, Garcia Moreno e o Equador de seu tempo (Editoria Vozes: Petrópolis, 1956) p. 126.
    2. Calderón García, Latin America: Its Rise and Progress (London: Unwin) p. 220, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 15.
    3. Ricardo Pattée, p. 329.
    4. 3rd article, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 151.
    5. Belisário Quevedo, Sociologia Política y moral (Quito: Editorial Bolívar) 1932, p. 54, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 152.
    6. J. Tobar Donoso, La Iglesia Ecuatoriana en el siglo XIX, Vol. I, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 159.
    7. “El National,” n° 300, October 10, 1873, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 294.
    8. José Felix Heredia, La Consagración de la República del Ecuador al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, Quito, Editorial Ecuatoriana, 1935, p, 198; in Ricardo Pattée, p. 295.
    9. E. MacPherson.
    10. E. MacPherson.
    11. The words of Pius IX, in a public audience in Rome, on September 20, 1875, in Gary Potter, Garcia Moreno, Statesman and Martyr, http://www.fisheaters.com/moreno.html.


    Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    Estimado Hyeronimus:
    Nuevamente te agradezco tus valiosos aportes del mártir Gabriel Garcia Moreno.
    Me impresiono mucho las fotografías donde se lo ve muerto, pues tengo un trozo con sangre de su camisa, que es la que se ve en dichas fotos.
    En el mismo cuadro "relicario" hay ademas de dicho trozo, un retrato, una "tarjeta de visita" con su nombre , y en el reverso una carta de su puño y letra escrita en 1860.

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    I'm glad for you. How did you get that relic? (Remember this is the English language forum).

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    La reliquia proviene de un regalo de un entrañable amigo, que a su vez la recibió en su momento de una persona que tuvo contacto ccon descendientes de don Gabriel García Moreno.
    En mi ignorancia de la tecnología informática no sé de qué se trata "el foro de idioma inglés", pero supongo que estoy "metiendo la pata" al escribir en español, de modo que pido disculpas, y no apareceré mas en el mismo a fin de no entorpecer este hilo.
    Cordiales saludos.
    Última edición por juan vergara; 05/08/2011 a las 20:35

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    Sube a la cabecera del hilo y encontrarás este recuadro:


    1. ATENCIÓNEste foro está pensando para que los interesados en el hispanismo que no hablan ninguna lengua hispánica puedan escribir o responder a los debates en inglés.Todos los debates y respuestas deben estar en inglés, de lo contrario el foro no tendría utilidad. Si quieres responder en alguna lengua hispánica, haz un tema nuevo en su foro correspondiente.
      Agradecemos la colaboración para mantener el foro ordenado.


    Por medio de los foros inglés, francés e italiano damos más proyección internacional a Hispanismo y contribuimos a que gentes de otras lenguas y culturas conozcan mejor nuestra historia, religión, costumbres, filosofía, geografía, etc.

    Un abrazo en Cristo

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    Re: Garcia Moreno – Model of a Catholic Statesman

    Libros antiguos y de colección en IberLibro
    He told his assassins “God does not die!”

    August 6, 2012
    Garcia Moreno


    Ecuadorean patriot and statesman; born at Guayaquil, 24 December, 1821; assassinated at Quito, 6 August, 1875.


    His father, Gabriel García Gomez, a native of Villaverde, in Old Castile, had been engaged in commerce at Callao before removing to Guayaquil, where he married Dona Mercedes Moreno, the mother of the future Ecuadorean martyr president. Gabriel García Gomez died while his son was still young, and the boy’s education was left to the care of his mother, who appears to have been a woman of unusual ability for her task; she was, moreover, fortunate in securing as her son’s tutor Fray Jose Betancourt, the famous Mercedarian, under whose tuition young García Moreno made rapid progress. A great part of his father’s fortune having been lost, it was not without some considerable sacrifices that the youth was able to attend the university course at Quito. These material obstacles once overcome, he passed brilliantly through the schools, distancing all his contemporaries, and on 26 October, 1844, received his degree in the faculty of law (Doctor en Jurisprudencia) from the University of Quito.
    Gabriel García Moreno, two term President of Ecuador who was murdered in 1876.

    In less than a year after his graduation young García Moreno had begun to take an active part in Ecuadorean politics, joining in the revolutionary movement which eventually replaced the Flores administration by that of Roca (1846). He soon distinguished himself as a political satirist by contributions to “El Zurriago”, but what more truly presaged the achievements of his riper life was his good and useful work as a member of the municipal council of Quito. At the same time he was studying legal practice, and on 30 March, 1848, was admitted advocate. Immediately after this the deposed Flores, supported by the Spanish government, made an attempt to regain the presidency of Ecuador; García Moreno unhesitatingly came forward in support of the Roca administration, and when that administration fell, in 1849, he entered upon his first period of exile. After some months spent in Europe he returned to his native republic in the employ of a mercantile concern, and it was then that he took the first decisive step which marked him conspicuously for the enmity of the anti-Catholics, or, as they preferred to call themselves, the Liberals. At Panama he had fallen in with a party of Jesuits who had been expelled from the Republic of New Granada and wished to find asylum in Ecuador. García Moreno constituted himself the protector of these religious, and they sailed with him for Guayaquil; but on the same vessel that carried the Jesuits and their champion, an envoy from New Granada also took passage for the express purpose of bringing diplomatic influence to bear with the dictator, Diego Noboa, to secure their exclusion from Ecuadorean territory. No sooner had the vessel entered the harbour of Guayaquil than García Moreno, slipping into a shore boat, succeeded in landing some time before the New Granadan envoy; the necessary permission was acquired from the Ecuadorean government, and the Jesuits obtained a foothold in that country. How soon the report of this exploit spread among the anti-Catholics of South America was evidenced by the fact that within a year Jacobo Sánchez, a New Granadan, had attacked García Moreno in the pamphlet “Don Felix Frias en Paris y los Jesuitas en el Ecuador”, to which García Moreno’s reply was an able “Defensa de los Jesuitas”.
    The cross carried by President Garcia Moreno during Ecuador's Holy Week procession.

    In 1853 he began to publish “La Nación”, a periodical which, according to its prospectus, was intended to combat the then existing tendency of the government to exploit the masses for the material benefit of those who happened to be in power. At the same time García Moreno’s programme aimed distinctly and professedly to defend the religion of the people. He was already known as a friend of the Jesuits; he now assumed the role of friend of the common people, to which he adhered sincerely and consistently to the day of his death. The Urbina faction, then in power, were quick to recognize the importance of “La Nación”, which was suppressed before the appearance of its third number, and its proprietor was exiled, for the second time. Having been, meanwhile, elected senator by his native province of Guayaquil, he was prevented from taking his seat, on the ground that he had returned to Quito without a passport. After a sojourn at Paita, García Moreno once more visited Europe. He was now thirty-three years of age, and his experience of political life in Ecuador had deeply convinced him of his people’s need of enlightenment. It was undoubtedly with this conviction as his guide and incentive that he spent a year or more in Paris, foregoing every form of pleasure, a severe, indefatigable student not only of political science, but also of the higher mathematics, of chemistry, and of the French public school system. On his return home, under a general amnesty in 1850, he became rector of the central University of Quito; a position of which he availed himself to commence lectures of his own in physical science. Next year he was active in the senate in opposition to the Masonic party, which had gained control of the government, while at the same time he persistently and forcibly, though unsuccessfully, struggled for the passage of a law establishing a system of public education modelled on that of France. In 1858 he once more established a paper, “La Union Naciónal”, which became obnoxious to the government by its fearless exposure of corruption and its opposition to the arbitrary employment of authority; and once more a political crisis ensued.
    Garcia Moreno carrying the Cross through the streets of Quito.

    García Moreno was on principle an advocate of orderly processes of government, and that his professions in this regard were sincere his subsequent career fairly demonstrated, but at this juncture he was obliged to realize that his country was in the grip of a corrupt oligarchy, bent upon the suppression of the Church to which the whole mass of his fellow countrymen were devoted, and disposed to keep the masses in ignorance so as to sway them the more easily to its own ends. He had, years before, attacked “the revolutionary industry”, a phrase probably first used by him, in the prospectus of “La Nación”; it now became necessary for him to descend to revolutionary methods. Besides, the little Republic of Ecuador was at this time menaced by its more powerful neighbour on the south, Peru. García Moreno, if he was sure of opposition at the hands of the soi-disant Liberals, was also, by this time, recognized by the masses as a leader loyal to both their common Faith and their common country, and thus he was able to organize the revolution which made him head of a provisional government established at Quito. The republic was now divided, General Franco being at the head of a rival government established at Guayaquil. In vain did García Moreno offer to share his authority with his rival for the sake of national unity. As a defensive measure against the threat of Peruvian invasion, García Moreno entered into negotiations with the French envoy with a view to securing the protection of France, a political mistake of which his enemies knew how to avail themselves to the utmost. He was now obliged to assume the character of a military leader, for which he possessed at least the qualifications of personal courage and decisive quickness of resolution. While García Moreno inflicted one defeat after another upon the partisans of Franco, the latter, as representing Ecuador, had concluded with Peru the treaty of Mapasingue. The people of Ecuador rose in indignation at the concessions made in this treaty, and Franco, even his own followers being alienated, was defeated at Babahoya (7 August, 1860) and again at Salado River, where he was driven to take refuge on a Peruvian vessel. When his adversary had been forcibly driven from the country, García Moreno showed his magnanimity in the proclamation in which he sought to heal as quickly as possible the scars of this civil war: “The republic should regard itself as one family; the old demarcations of districts must be so obliterated as to render sectional ambitions impossible”. In the reorganization of the Constituent Assembly, which was summoned to meet in January, 1861, he insisted that the suffrage should not be territorial, but “direct and universal, under the necessary guarantees of intelligence and morality, and the number of representatives should correspond (proportionally) to that of the electors represented”. The Convention, which met on 10 January, elected García Moreno president; he delivered his inaugural address on the 2d of April following. Then began that series of reforms among which were the restitution of the rights of the Church and a radical reconstruction of the fiscal system. In the immediate present he had to deal with the machinations of his old adversary Urbina, who, from his retirement in Peru, kept up incessant intrigues with the opposition at home, and still more with the governments of neighbouring republics. García Moreno soon came to a sensible and honourable understanding with the Peruvian government.
    A violation of Ecuadorean territory by New Granada, though it led to a hostile collision in which García Moreno himself took part, had no serious consequences until the Arboledo administration gave place to that of General Mosquera, whose ambition it was to make New Granada the nucleus of a great “Colombian Confederation”, in which Ecuador was to be included. Urbina was not above writing encouraging letters to the New Granadan or Colombian dictator who was scheming against the independence of Ecuador. An invitation to García Moreno to confer with Mosquera elicited a very plain intimation that, so far as the national obliteration of Ecuador was concerned, there was nothing to confer about. But in the meantime the Republic of Ecuador had ratified a concordat with Pope Pius IX (1862), and the discontent of the Regalista party at home with the provisions of that instrument gave Mosquera an excellent pretext for encroaching upon his neighbour’s rights. The Regalistas were, without knowing it, a kind of Erastians, who claimed the appointment to ecclesiastical benefices as an inalienable right of the civil power. The President of Ecuador was charged with “casting Colombia, manacled, at the feet of Rome”; Urbina issued “manifestos” from Peru in the sense of “South America for the South Americans”; while the proclamation of President Mosquera recited, with others which seem to have been introduced merely for the sake of appearances, his three really significant grounds of complaint against García Moreno: that the latter had ratified the concordat; that he maintained a representative of the Holy See at Quito; that he had brought Jesuits into Ecuador. It may be remarked here, in passing, that if Mosquera had added to this catalogue of offences those of insisting upon free primary education for the masses, upon strict auditing of the public accounts, and a considerable bona fide outlay upon roads and other public utilities, his proclamation might have served adequately as the indictment upon which García Moreno was condemned and eventually put to death by those whom Pius IX ironically called “the valiant sectaries”.
    Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart

    Mosquera was determined to have war, and all the efforts of the Ecuadorean government were of no avail to prevent it. At the battle of Cuaspud all but two battalions of the forces of Ecuador fled ignominiously. It is a matter for wonder, considering the grounds upon which he had declared war, that Mosquera, in the Peace of Pinsaquí, which followed this victory, should have left the Concordat of 1862, the delegate Apostolic, and the Jesuits just as they were. In March,1863, García Moreno tendered his resignation to the National Assembly, who insisted upon his remaining in office until the expiration of his term. Nevertheless he had to face, during the next two years, repeated seditions and filibustering raids. After sparing the lives of the leaders in one of these movements, though they had by all law and custom incurred the penalty of death, he was severely criticized for ordering the execution of another such when it had become evident that an example was necessary for the peace of the republic. In a naval battle at Jambelí (27 June, 1865) at which García Moreno was personally present, the defeat of the Urbina forces was complete, and tranquillity reigned until the presidential term expired on the 27th of the following August.
    In the following year began what may be considered as a connected series of attempts which terminated, nine years later, in the assassination of García Moreno. The dispute between Spain and Peru over the Chinchas Islands had led to a war in which, following García Moreno’s advice, his successor Jeronimo Carrión had cast in the lot of Ecuador with that of the sister republic and its then ally, Chile. The ex-president was sent as minister plenipotentiary to Chile, with a commission to transact business with President Prado of Peru on his way. On his arrival at Lima an attempt was made to assassinate him, but it ended in the death of his assailant. His diplomatic mission resulted excellently for the friendly relations between Ecuador and its neighbours; the sojourn at Santiago also inspired García Moreno with a high admiration for Chile, and he even made up his mind to attempt a change of the Ecuadorean constitution so as to make it more like that of Chile, a project which he carried into effect in the National Convention of 1869. On his return to Ecuador he found himself a second time in the uncongenial position of leader of a revolution. To anticipate a plot which the Liberals, led by one of Urbina’s relations, were known to be forming, the conservatives of Ecuador had risen, declared Carrión deposed, and made García Moreno head of the provisional government. The justice of the grounds on which this extreme action was taken was established by the attempt of Veintemilla, at Guayaquil, only two months later, in March, 1869.
    The murder of Garcia Moreno

    Having been duly confirmed as president ad interim by the National Convention of May, 1869, García Moreno resumed his work for the enlightenment, as well as the religious well-being, of his people. It was in these last years of his life that he did so much for the teaching of physical sciences in the university by introducing there the German Fathers of the Society of Jesus. The medical schools and hospitals of the capital benefited vastly by his intelligent and zealous efforts. In September, 1870, the troops of Victor Emmanuel occupied Rome; and on 18 January, 1871, García Moreno, alone of all the rulers of the world, addressed a protest to the King of Italy on the spoliation of the Holy See. The pope marked his appreciation of this outburst of loyalty by conferring on the President of Ecuador the decoration of the First Class of the Order of Pius IX, with a Brief of commendation dated, 27 March, 1871. It was, on the other hand, notorious that certain lodges had formally decreed the death of García Moreno, who, in a letter to the pope, used about this time the following almost prophetic words: “What riches for me, Most Holy Father, to be hated and calumniated for my love for our Divine Redeemer! What happiness if your benediction should obtain for me from Heaven the grace of shedding my blood for Him, who being God, was willing to shed His blood for us upon the Cross!” The object of numberless plots against his life, García Moreno pursued his way with unruffled confidence in the future — his own and his country’s. “The enemies of God and the Church can kill me”, he once said, “but God does not die” (Dios no muere).
    He had been re-elected president, and would soon have entered upon another term of office, when, towards the end of July, 1875, the police of Quito were apprised that a party of assassins had begun to dog García Moreno’s footsteps. When, however, the chief of police warned the intended victim, the latter so discouraged all attempts to hedge him about with precautions, as to almost excuse the carelessness of his official guardians. It came out in evidence that within the fortnight preceding the finally successful attempt, the same assassins had at least twice been foiled by the president’s failing to appear on occasions when he had been expected. Finally, on the evening of 6 August, the assassins found their prey unprotected, leaving the house of some very dear friends; they followed him until he had reached the Treasury, and there Faustino Rayo, the leader of the band, suddenly attacked him with a machete, inflicting six or seven wounds, while the other three assisted in the work with their revolvers. On hearing of the death of García Moreno, Pope Pius IX ordered a solemn Mass of Requiem to be celebrated in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The same sovereign pontiff erected to his memory, in the Collegio Pio-Latino, at Rome, a monument on which García Moreno is designated:
    Religionis integerrimus custos Auctor studiorum optimorum Obsequentissimus in Petri sedem Justitiae cultor; scelerum vindex.
    The materials for this article have been derived from a biography, now extremely rare, written by a personal friend and political associate of García Moreno, HERRERA, Apuntes sobre la Vida de García Moreno. See also: BERTHES, García Moreno (Paris); Les Contemporains (Paris, s.d.), I; MAXWELL-SCOTT, Gabriel García Moreno, Regenerator of Ecuador in St. Nicholas Series (London and New York, 1908).
    E. MACPHERSON (Catholic Encyclopedia)

    Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites

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