The largest state and republic in South America. The first Lodge in Brazil is said to have been established by French authority as early as 1815. At any rate it was at work in 1820 and was divided into three parts which in 1821 met and formed the Grand Orient of Brazil according to the French Rite. In October, however, it was closed by order of the Emperor of Brazil, then Grand Master, and lay dormant for ten years.
Eight years later a Grand Orient of Brazil was formed with Jos Bonefacio de Andrada e Silva as Grand Master. In November, 1832, the Supreme Council of Belgium instituted a Supreme Council, Thirty-third Degree, which in1832 was divided into three parts, each of which deemed to be a Supreme Grand Council. In 1835 there existed two Grand Orients and four Supreme Councils.
Out of these several Bodies there finally emerged the original Grand Orient which in 1863 divided into two, the Grand Orient of Lavrado Valley and the Grand Orient of Benedictino Valley, the former inclined to Roman Catholicism, the latter opposed to it.
In 1872 the two parties united ; the following year they divided again. An attack by the Bishop of Pemambuco was the indirect cause of a movement towards Masonic union in 1877, and on January 18, 1883, the union was achieved in a Body which recognized the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Modem French Rite and the Adonhiramite Rite.
In 1914 the Grand Orient exercised authority over 390 constituent Lodges, while England, Germany, and Italy were also represented in this territory. A further 50 Lodges paid allegiance to the Grand Orients of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul, the former of which has since united with the Grand Orient at Rio de Janeiro.
There are two German Lodges at Porto Alegre, and one each at Sertas S. Anna, Sapyranga, Santa Cruz, Candelaria, and Joinville. The Grand Orient of Italy has a Lodge at Botucatu, and one at San Paolo.
Eugene Seeger, formerly Consul-General of the United States at Rio de Janeiro, in an article on Brazil (see Current History, July, 1923), referred to the popularity of Freemasonry there and asserted that it was largely due to the great number of free public schools established and supported by the Freemasons for educating future citizens of that republic.
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