La Masoneria was a speech delivered by the Philippine National hero, Jose Rizal in 1890. Rizal, appointed as the Grand Representative of the Masonry Body in Germany and France by the Gran Oriente (Grand Orient) Español in 1892, delivered a lecture entitled “La Masoneria” (Freemasonry). It is likewise known as “Discurso en una Logia Masonica, 1890” (Speech at a Masonic Lodge, 1890). This was delivered in “Solidaridad” (a lodge) at Number 53, Madrid, Spain.
Focusing on virtue described as “the constant performance of duty,” Rizal spoke about duties, ideologies, and practices.
According to Rizal, modern man’s duty is to work to redeem humanity. He believes that once man becomes dignified, there will soon be more happy and contented people. As long as there are oppressed individuals, there cannot be redemption. As long as there are people who treat others very lowly, that cannot be achieved.
Humanity cannot be redeemed if there is no freedom to reason out and as long as there are countries that step on others for power. To be able to attain this kind of redemption, Rizal believes that there should be no tyranny.
Rizal as a Freemason
Rizal was partly influenced by his uncle, Jose Alberto Alonso, his mother’s half-brother, to learn more about Masonry. At an early age, Rizal dreamed of traveling to foreign lands – also inspired by his uncle’s tales of visiting such places and having been educated in British India. It was mentioned that Alonso was a member of a lodge in Pandacan, with the master, the British Vice-Consul.
During the early 1890s, Rizal joined the masonry in Madrid, Spain to attain his anticlerical aims. Because of this, he was able to get in touch with an exclusive group of intellectuals in Europe (mostly Rosicrucian initiates).
Later assigned as the European jurisdiction’s secret Grand Master, he became prominently known for his high mystical realizations. This hence started his absorption of knowledge to eradicate tyranny of the Spaniards over the Philippines.
Michael Golden-berg translated it into English, published it as a pamphlet entitled “Science, Virtue and Labor” (Manila, 19 June 1956).
- Gagelonia, Pedro A. Rizal’s Life, Works, and Writings. Navotas, Rizal: Navotas Press, 1974.
- “José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) Hero. Martyr. Freemason.” Samuel Kusangpalo.  (Accessed on August 21, 2011).
- “Rizal the Mystic.” Pinoy Fraternity.  (Accessed on August 21, 2011).