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Labastida y Dávalos, Pelagio Antonio de


Mexican archbishop and scholar; b. Zamora, Michoacán, March 21, 1816; d. Coacaleco, Tlalnepantla, Feb.

4, 1891. He was ordained on Nov. 10, 1838, and received his degree in Canon Law in 1839. He became a professor of literature, philosophy, and Spanish. In the Michoacán curia he held the offices of prosecutor and judge of wills and inheritances, chaplaincies, and pious works. Santa Anna proposed him for the Puebla Diocese. He was appointed in Rome on March 23, 1855, and consecrated on July 8 by the bishop of Michoacán, Clemente de Jesús Munguía. When the Plan of Ayutla was promulgated, Labastida was accused of attacking the government from the pulpit, and he went into exile in Havana. From there he went to live in Rome. In his travels he visited Palestine, Egypt, and India. When Maximilian of Austria heard the bishop was in Europe, he asked to see him to obtain more exact information on the Mexican political situation; so Labastida, bishop of monarchist leanings, visited the future emperor in Miramar. On March 19, 1863, Labastida was appointed archbishop of Mexico, returning there on October 12. He was named to the imperial regency but soon resigned. In 1865 he made pastoral visits to Tierra Caliente and the valley of Toluca. On Feb. 5, 1867, on the invitation of Pope Pius IX, he went to Rome, where he remained because of the new political unrest in Mexico, taking part in Vatican Council I as a member of the commission on ecclesiastical discipline. When the Council was suspended, he returned to Mexico City on May 19, 1871, and took up his episcopal duties in a political climate dominated by Liberals. He secured approval for the coronation of the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The president of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, presented him with a crozier on the 50th anniversary of his ordination (1888) and atttended the bishop's funeral three years later. Labastida left a large number of sermons, pastoral letters, decrees, and funeral orations.

Bibliography: j. t. basurto, El Arzobispado de México (Mexico City 1944). e. valverde tÉllez, Bio-bibliografia eclesiástica mexicana (18211943), 3 v. (Mexico City 1949).

[l. medina-ascensio]

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