Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Pedro I, nicknamed "the Liberator" or "the Soldier King", was the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil. When Portugal was invaded by French troops in 1807, he and his family fled to Portugal's largest and wealthiest colony, Brazil. Pedro's father left him to rule over Brazil as Prince Regent after the outbreak of the 1820 Portuguese Revolution.
The rebel Prince declared himself in favour of Brazil and on 7 September 1822 he proclaimed Brazil's Independence. One month later he was the first Emperor of Brazil. On 7 April 1831, Pedro I abdicated in favour of his son Pedro II, and sailed for Europe. In July 1832 he invaded Portugal. Pedro I died of tuberculosis on 24 September 1834, just a few months after he and the liberals had emerged victorious. He was hailed by both contemporaries and posterity as a key figure who helped spread the liberal ideals that allowed Brazil and Portugal to move from Absolutist regimes to representative forms of government.
As Imperial and Royal Highness, Pedro of Alcântara, Prince Regent of Brazil, was initiated into Freemasonry (under the pseudonym of Guatimozin) on August 2, 1822 in a ceremony led by Grand Master Jose Bonifacio. On October 4, 1822 he was elected and installed as Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Brazil. All Masonic documents were signed by him under the name Pedro Guatimozin. He adopted this name in reverence to the last leader of the Aztecs, who fought against the Spanish invaders. The Grand Orient of Brazil conferred the Emperor the honorary title of Perpetual Defender of Brazil on May 13, 1822.