Freemasonry's History of Puerto Rico

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by LeoValMer05, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. LeoValMer05

    LeoValMer05 Registered User

    -Before I start, I wish to say that the history presented here belongs more to the Scottish Rite. The York Rite arrived later to Puerto Rico. There are no lodges from the Swedish Rite in Puerto Rico.
    Moreover, the lodges name will be written in Spanish as most are called in such language.-​
    The Masonic history in Puerto Rico begins in the year 1803, however, these lodges answered to different foreign Grand Lodges, like those in France, Spain, Cuba, Santo Domingo, and even Pennsylvania, USA. The first known lodge that existed Puerto Rico was called "Restauración", and it was founded in 1811 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. This lodge was created with the help of the Grand Lodge Unida de Colón, Cuba. This Grand Lodge and the one from Puerto Rico were under the Spanish domain, the Grand Orient of Spain. In 1863, the Grand Lodge of Venezuela founded the lodge Boriquén #57 after Puerto Rico had contact with South America, which was done after France took temporarily the island as a colony. However, even after all these, the most solid masonic lodge in Puerto Rico was called Unión Germana, which was founded in San Germán, Puerto Rico. This lodge was founder under order of the Grand Lodge of Santo Domingo.

    After Puerto Rico had its first provincial lodge in 1884, the Grand Lodge of Colón, Cuba, let Puerto Rico found its own Grand Lodge, which is known as the Grand Lodge Soberana of Free and Accepted Mason in 1885. Though the Grand Lodge was founded first at Mayagüez, the Lodge was relocated in San Juan, which is the capital of Puerto Rico. At first, there were 14 lodges active at that time, but of those 14 lodges, only 7 still remain active today. Those remaining lodges are: Adelphia #1 at Mayagüez, Tanamá #2 at Arecibo, Estrella de Luquillo #5 at San Juan, Aurora #7 at Ponce, Unión #10 at Guayama, San Juan Bautista #12 at San Juan, and Iris de Paz #13 at Arroyo. The most worshipful brother Santiago Palmer (1844-1908) was our first Grand Master, who was once held prisoner at El Morro as Freemasonry was persecuted by the Spanish regime.

    The Scottish Rite in Puerto Rico received its license by the USA Scottish Rite-Southern Jurisdiction in 1903. However, the York Rite reached Puerto Rico in 1903 after the USA invasion that happened in 1898 with only the Capitular Degrees. The Cryptic degrees were instituted in 1907, and the Chivalric degrees in 1977. There are 68 known Scottish Rite lodges, while only one York Rite lodge. There are also Shriner Order and the Order of the Eastern Star.

    Grand Lodge Soberana
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    How do you get 68 "Scottish Rite lodges" from 7 Craft lodges (but of those 14 lodges, only 7 still remain active today) ?

    Are the first three degrees awarded in the Scottish Rite in Puerto Rico ?
  3. LeoValMer05

    LeoValMer05 Registered User

    There is a sad story in how some lodges were created, and others are because of accessibility. The one story I can tell you is the one in Mayagüez, which is a sad one. The story goes that the Adelphia #1 was been seen as a lodge for the rich, which made the working and poorer classes feel as not part of the lodge. This is when Porvenir #88 and Washington #78 were formed, which the first belonged to the working class while the second to the poorer class. In time, this changed, and it's no longer the case. The joining now is more of a time-accessibility. For instance, most Catholics in Puerto Rico go to church Sunday morning, and also many Protestant churches too, deciding then to join the other two lodges since Adelphia #1 has their meeting at Sunday morning. An attempt to unified the three lodges has been tried, but it has been unsuccessful.
    There is also one lodge from the Virgin Island of St. Croix that is under the Puerto Rico's Grand lodge. However, something that I noticed is that there are a lot in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. I don't know their story, but I assume that accessibility has to be the case as the town has very difficult accessible areas, while it's also very populated. The other case for there to be a lot of lodges is that there are 78 major towns, and each is 30 minutes to 45 minutes away from each other to reach another lodge, making them do a lodge in many of each town.

    If interested, here is the link for each lodge:

    Yes, all three degrees are awarded in Puerto Rico. Even the 4-32 degrees can be done in Puerto Rico. I don't know if the 33rd, though I knew a few brothers who were in that degree too.
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  4. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Interesting information Brother LeoValMer05. I really like Masonic education in all forms.
    LeoValMer05 likes this.

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