Priest and revolutionist; b. Tonacatepeque, El Salvador, Dec. 15, 1741; d. San Salvador, Sept. 12, 1818. In 1755 he was sent to Guatemala, where he studied under the Jesuits. On April 18, 1767, he was ordained in Olocuilta, El Salvador. Shortly afterward, in a competition, he won the post of pastor of San Salvador and performed his duties faithfully there until his death. In 1811 when San Salvador was governed by the unpopular intendant Don Antonio Gutiérrez Ulloa, Aguilar and José Matías delgado led a group that rose, on November 5, in armed rebellion in favor of independence. Their plan was to depose the intendant and take possession of 1,000 new muskets in the court of arms and some 200,000 pesos in the royal treasury. The insurrection failed because it was not well planned. Later, from the pulpit, Aguilar urged the populace to be tranquil and urged obedience to the captive king, Ferdinand VII. Although he continued to be active, he vacillated: sometimes he harangued the crowds to rise up in arms; other times he tried to subdue them, preaching love of neighbor and pardon of one's enemy. In 1814 he directed a new uprising, which failed also. In his last years, although he was respected because of his advanced age, he suffered bitterly because of what happened to his two brothers, Manuel and Vicente, exemplary priests and patriots. Manuel was deported to Guatemala, and Vicente, who was blind, was imprisoned.
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