Mexican bishop and diplomat; b. Atlixco, Puebla, March 21, 1769; d. Cholula, Oct. 7, 1847. He started his ecclesiastical career at the Palafoxiano Seminary of Puebla in 1778. In 1790 he went to San Pablo in Mexico City where he eventually became a professor and rector. He received his doctor's degree in theology at the Royal Pontifical University of Mexico on Jan. 23, 1795. The following March he was ordained. In 1822 he was named minister plenipotentiary to the Holy See, but he did not receive his credentials until 1825. He then left for Europe and undertook the difficult mission of obtaining from theHoly See recognition of Mexican independence and the appointment of bishops. Spain strongly opposed both. Although Mexico lacked an episcopacy because the bishops had either died or returned to Spain, the most the Pope would grant was that bishops for Mexico should be titular and vicars apostolic. This was unacceptable to Vázquez. With the accession of Gregory XVI he had more success. In the consistory of Feb. 28, 1831, the pope announced the first six bishops for independent Mexico, one of them being Vázquez for the See of Puebla. He was consecrated by Cardinal Odescalchi, March 6, 1831, in Rome, and returned to Mexico to take possession of his diocese on July1. Immediately he reorganized the Mexican hierarchy, and in the following months consecrated the rest of the designated bishops. A learned priest, zealous pastor, and skillful diplomat, he was an exemplary bishop.
Bibliography: m. cuevas, Historia de la Iglesia en México, 5 v. (5th ed. Mexico City 1946–47). v. de p. andrade, Los sumos pontífices romanos y la Iglesia mexicana (Mexico City 1903).
[r. montejano y aguiÑaga]