From the Commander of Kadosh (July 2020)

posted Jul 7, 2020, 1:41 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

In May 1858, Brother Jose Ignacio Herrera y Cairo was murdered by his political and military enemies in Mexico. Two of the ranking officers involved were later hanged.  Brother Cairo became a national hero and military units and streets were name in his honor in the Jalisco area.


Earlier, Brother Cairo was concerned he might be murdered and asked his friends, should that happen, that he would like to be buried in a Masonic Cemetery.  His body was buried in a local cemetery but his heart was removed and preserved as a relic.  In April 1893 it was taken from Mexico and placed in the Oakland Masonic Temple by his sister, Rosalia Labastida de Coney.  A ceremony was held at that time and “addresses and other interesting matters presented”.


Brother Cairo’s heart was buried, with a grand ceremony, in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland on June 23, 1894.  The copper casket containing his heart, draped with the Mexican flag, was escorted by four Knights Rose Croix from Gethsemane Chapter, Rose Croix, Oakland.  It was placed under a monument, the foundation stone of which was laid by Past Grand Master of Masons of California, Most Worshipful Hiram N. Rucker. Ill. Brother Edwin Sherman, 33rd degree, delivered a eulogy critical of the Catholic Church in the murder of Brother Cairo.


Rosalia was the wife of Consul General of Mexico, Brother Alexander Coney, 32nd degree.  A few years later, in 1897, Rosalia passed away and was interred in the same plot as her brother and, later Brother Sherman.  A large number of Masons turned out for her burial and each placed a red rose on her grave.


Next month, more about Brother Coney