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Belaunzarán, José María de Jesús


Mexican bishop; b. Mexico City, Jan. 31, 1772; d. La Profesa, Mexico, Sept. 11, 1857. He received the Franciscan habit in 1789 in the monastery of Recollects of the Apostolic College of Pachuca. In 1796 he became a priest. Because he was so esteemed as a preacher, he was considered the apostle of Mexico City. Gregory XVI appointed him bishop of Linares, Monterey, on Feb. 28, 1831. Bishop Vázquez of Puebla consecrated him on November 28 in the church of San Diego in Mexico City; after that Belaunzarán undertook the visitation of his immense diocese. His active involvement in the struggle against the laws of Gómez Farías that persecuted the Church resulted in his exile from the country in 1834. Still later he made further petitions to General Santa Anna, asking for the repeal of Farías's laws, but without success. As a result of these difficulties and his failing health, he offered his resignation from the bishopric on various occasions. The third time (1839) it was accepted by Gregory XVI. Belaunzarán then withdrew to the monastery of San Francisco in Mexico City. Santa Anna bestowed on him the cross of Knight of the Order of Guadalupe and made him his honorary councilor. Among the bishops whom he consecrated was Francisco García Diego, bishop of the Californias.

Bibliography: m. cuevas, Historia de la Iglesia en México, 5 v. (5th ed. Mexico City 194647) 5:207. e. valverde tÉllez, Bio-bibliografía eclesiástica mexicans (18211943), 3 v. (Mexico City 1949) 1:159164.

[l. medina-ascensio]

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