Monday, July 19, 2010

Mexican history moment

The rise and fall of Emperor Agustin I, with firing squads, courtesy of Executed Today, a website I continue to have a fingers-over-the-eyes fascination with.

Update, July 20: Hey, this was really Canadian history too. Mark Reynolds writes about the Ontario connection of the other executed emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I:
I don't know if you've ever been to Guelph, Ont., but the downtown is dominated by an enormous Catholic church in the Gothic style - one that is far larger than the Catholic population of the city at the time it was built really needed. My Dad (who's from Guelph) insists that the parish priest of the time was from Austria (true) and was a boyhood friend of Maximilian's (no idea).

The story is that the priest managed to convince his newly crowned friend to fund the construction of the church. The first payments arrived, and the foundations of Our Lady of Sorrows (which would have been bigger than Cologne's Cathedral, according to the original plans) were laid, but then Maximilian ended up on the wrong end of a firing squad and the river of money dried up. The current church has a footprint of about a quarter of the planned one.  
I looked into it, but never found a scrap of proof that there was anything to it.
I know Guelph and the big church, but the story is new to me. One wonders what a cleric with friends like these would have to do to get himself exiled to Canada West in the 1860s. Even Cardinal Ratzinger didn't send his problem priests that far away.

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