Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

Graciano López Jaena was born

Today in Masonic History Graciano López Jaena was born in 1856.

Graciano López Jaena was a Filipino author, politician and revolutionary.

López Jaena from a young age wanted to become a physician. His parents sent him to study at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary. López Jaena applied to the University of San Tomas to study medicine, unfortunately the Seminary needed not offer the per-requisit Bachelor of Arts degree so he accepted an apprentice position at San Juan de Dios Hospital. Due to financial issues he was forced to drop out.

Before dropping out of the program López Jaena spent more and more time with the needy and poor and it opened his eyes to the injustice that was all too common. While still at the Seminary López Jaena wrote a satirical story Fray Botod. The story was bout an over weight lecherous priest whose unjust and underhanded acts were always followed by false piety. The story was never published, copies of the story did circulate though. The friars who ran the seminary were not pleased but could not prove that López Jaena was the source of the story.

In 1879 López Jaena had to set sail for Spain after he refused to testify that prisoners had died of natural causes when it was obvious that their deaths were caused by abuse of the then mayor of Pototan.

In Spain López Jaena attended the University of Valencia to try to further his medical education. He eventually grew bored with his studies and switched to Journalism. Even that was not enough to keep at the university.

After leaving the university López Jaena became a member of the Propagandist Movement who were working to increase awareness in Spain of the needs of their then colony the Philippines. The Propagandist Movement was made up of individuals who had been exiled from the Philippines and individuals from the Philippines studying in Europe. As a member of the organization he became the editor of La Solidaridad ("Solidarity") a news letter put out with information about the Philippines.

López Jaena died in Spain in 1896 from tuberculosis. That same year Marcelo H. del Pilar and José Rizal ilustrados (Philippine educated elite during Spanish Colonization) and also advocates for better treatment of the Philippine colony also died. Del Pilar from tuberculosis like López Jaena. Rizal died in front of a firing squad. This ended the triumvirate of Filipino propagandists.

López Jaena was a member of Logia Povernir No. 2. In 1965 Graciano López-Jaena Chapter Order of DeMolay was founded in Jaro. It was so named because López Jaena was the first and foremost Freemason from Jaro.