Ibarra y González, Ramón
IBARRA Y GONZÁLEZ, RAMÓN
Mexican archbishop and educational reformer, first archbishop of Puebla; b. Olinalá, Guerrero, Mexico, Oct. 22, 1853; d. Mexico City, Feb. 1, 1917. Educated in Puebla and in Rome, he was personally presented with a special medal by Pope Leo XIII for his brilliant scholarship. After being ordained on Feb. 21, 1880, he returned to Mexico in 1883. In August 1889, he was chosen bishop of the Diocese of Chilapa. In 1902 he was transferred to the Diocese of Puebla, which became an archdiocese a year later by order of Pius X. Thus he was the last bishop and first archbishop of Puebla. At the time of his death he was in hiding because of religious persecutions: his flock dispersed, the clergy scattered in all directions, many of his works undone, the seminary and Catholic university that he founded destroyed.
A man both gentle and firm, he is remembered for his nobility and his many accomplishments. He was extremely active, talented, and highly creative, optimistic and generous by nature, and a tireless fighter in the cause of God. He founded 15 schools, a preparatory school, and a Catholic university that had six faculties. He was responsible for bringing into Mexico the Christian Brothers and the Teresians. The poorer classes owe to him the founding of two free hospitals, an asylum, a Catholic workers' circle, and a theater that he endowed. He improved the Palafoxiano Seminary, for which he obtained the privilege of offering academic degrees. He founded the Institute of Missionaries of Guadalupe especially for the Indian population and the Mexican Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. He also obtained pontifical approval for the order of the Religious of the Cross, and founded the Apostolic League of diocesan priests. He organized the First Catholic National Congress in 1903. He published a total of 17 pastoral letters, held four diocesan synods, and founded two Catholic chapters and a Catholic social action center.
Bibliography: o. mÁrquez, Monseñor Ibarra: Biografía del Excmo. Sr. Dr. y maestro D. Ramón Ibarra y González … (Mexico City 1962).
[r. guÍzar dÍaz]