Vera, Jacinto

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The first bishop of Uruguay; b. Brazil, July 3, 1813; d. Uruguay, May 6, 1881. His parents settled in Uruguay soon after his birth, so Vera studied at the Colegio San Ignacio in Buenos Aires. He was ordained in 1841 and then returned to Uruguay. In 1858 he was elected a deputy, but did not occupy his legislative seat. After the death of José Benito Lamas, Vera succeeded him as apostolic vicar. He carried out his duties with energy and zeal, touring the countryside, and giving organization and inspiration to the clergy of the nation. In 1862, as the result of a conflict with the government on the matter of competence, the Executive Power decreed "the expulsion of the priests Conde and Jacinto Vera from the territory of the Republic." The Holy See approved Vera's conduct. In 1863 the revolution of Gen. Venancio Flores occurred. The government ended Bishop Vera's exile, and he returned to Montevideo, where he was given a great welcome. He became bishop of Megara in 1864. He went to Rome in 1867 and again in 1869 to attend the Vatican Council. When the Diocese of Montevideo was established independent from that of Buenos Aires, Vera took the civil oath as first bishop of Uruguay, Jan. 8, 1879. His death occurred while he was on one of his customary missions. A virtuous priest of a strong character whose charity was evident in many different works, Bishop Vera achieved national prominence in Uruguay. The process for his canonization has been under way for some time.

Bibliography: l. a. pons, Biografía del ilmo. y revmo. señor don Jacinto Vera y Durán: Primer obispo de Montevideo (Montevideo 1904).

[a. d. gonzÁlez]