[Picture above on the walls of the cloistered monastery of the
Conceptionist Sisters in Riobamba.]
“God will provide himself a victim for a holocaust”
Fr. Emilio Moscoso was born in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador on April 21, 1846, of a very Catholic family of 13 children-4 of which died before they reached adulthood. His name at birth was Salvador Victor Emilio Moscoso Cardenas, and baptized a week later in that city and the Parish of “The Tabernacle.” He was always known just as “Emilio” by family and friends.
Emilio was educated in Catholic Schools throughout his life. He studied Law at the university until he was 18 yrs. old. He then decided to consecrate his life to Our Lord at the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Cuenca. He took his first vows on April 27, 1866, when he was 20 yrs. old in Quito in the Chapel of Blessed (Now Saint) Mariana de Jesus – the Lily of Quito-in the Jesuit Church of La Compania. The chapel had been recently renovated for the Beatification of Mariana de Jesus. Fr. Benetiz mentions that Fr. Moscoso was a follower of the Lily of Quito’s spirituality which aided him in his Ignatian spiritual discernment.
[Picture above of the 5 saints of Ecuador statues above the altar at the side altar and capilla of St Mariana in the Church of La Compania in Quito.]
Throughout the rest of his studies for the priesthood, Br. Emilio Moscoso as he was called at that period in his life, was asked to be a teacher. He taught in Quito and then Riobamba. He was finally ordained in Quito in 1877.
Shortly after his ordination, he was ordered to go to Europe to complete his theological studies in France and then on to Spain for a retreat and discernment where he repeated the spiritual experience of Ignatius de Loyola, the founder. For Fr. Emilio, it was a singular grace of God to make "the month of Spiritual Exercises" in the same place where Ignatius de Loyola had the transforming experience of his life. He did not return to South America until 1879 when he was asked to go to Lima, Peru to teach grade school children in elementary studies such as mathematics, geography etc. He remained there until 1882 when he is sent to the College in Quito to be an administrator there along with many other tasks that were assigned to him, which were added over time such as: prefect of the church, confessor in the Church, director of the numerous Congregations of the Daughters of Mary and spiritual director of college students. Due to all his responsibilities, he had to distribute his time and arrange his daily schedule precisely in order to fulfill each one of his pastoral commitments. He became known, accepted and esteemed for his dedication and work in the city. Even though his only desire was to return to his hometown of Riobamba, he accepted his orders from his Provincial as though they were directly from God and put his whole being into his work.
Finally, 1889, he is asked to return to Riobamba, certainly overjoyed that he can finally return home after so many years away! Due to his kind and gentle character, his apostolic zeal was fundamentally employed in the education of the Faith and the teaching of philosophy. In 1895, he was appointed Rector of the College of Saint Philip of Riobamba with again many different duties and roles to be played at the school and the city to help the Church.
Known for a wonderfully kind and generous personality, even one of his uncles said about him: “among all his brothers, he was distinguished by docility, moderation and delicacy of his character,” The Postulator to the Cause, Fr. Jose Benetiz, also commented on his character as being “serene, simple, kind, humble; he gave the impression of being shy; attentive and helpful; he always manifested true faithfulness to his obligations.” Fr. Jose Benetiz, in his interview with us, stated: “Fr. Moscoso was a very saintly soul who was the spiritual director of all mystics in Riobamba.” Adding that he felt that only a person who was a mystic, himself, would be able to advise such souls. These qualities then were his trademark throughout his life and would be evident in the difficult and tragic moments of his last days and antecedents to his martyrdom.
Another example of the sanctity of Fr Moscoso was in his daily life, we quote a booklet written by Fr. Benetiz titled: “Fr. Salvador Victor Emilio Moscoso SJ - Martyr of the Eucharist”- Father quotes one of Fr. Moscoso’s students who decided to dedicate a poem to him, 53 years after his death titled: "Memories": ‘his pleasant appearance, gentle look, modest air and sweet words ... such an attractive and delicate silhouette that revealed a paternal and modest heart’ … ‘Without fear of exaggeration, the seat of his proficiency to govern was his kind and holy soul, the scope of his actions, his heart, generous and tenderly affectionate, with all his students.
With what affability and delicacy, he attended to the students. His calm and smiling face strengthened and maintained merriment and reciprocal love at times of recreation; the visits to the classrooms and tests in the classes were pleasing and stimulating, and when his genius and moderation took over the classrooms, he never had to use reproach or punishment.’”
[Picture on left of Chapel of Expiation -scene of the crimes that took place on May 4, 1897 - this is still standing on the grounds of the school of St Philip Neri]
In that same year that he became rector of St. Philip Neri School, 1895, the terrible Liberal Revolution took place that professed to end theocracy and desired to de-Christianize the nation. This demonstration provoked the reaction and the resistance of those who had previously sought the Consecration of the Republic of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This country was then divided between those who had supported Gabriel Garcia Moreno’s Republic that he had truly developed into a Catholic Nation with that Act of Consecration and also the Concordat that we will call “Constitutionalists and those who held anti-clerical and Liberal ideas that were based on the Era of the Enlightenment of the French Revolution that we will call “Alfaristas”. After Moreno’s death, almost immediately his enemies sought to cut ties with Rome. One of his fiercest opponents to Moreno’s ideals of a Catholic nation was Eloy Alfaro, the leader of this Revolution. This revolutionary steeped in Liberalism used spiritualism to guide his career path. It is written of him that whenever he had some serious decisions to be made, he consulted with a spiritual medium aka spirit guide who talks to the dead. Hence it is not hard to imagine the “who” behind the sadistic and sacrilegious events that took place in Riobamba and elsewhere in Ecuador at that time. Certainly, it can be assumed that the one he actually was “consulting with” was Satan himself!
In 1895, Alfaro, led the Liberal Revolution in Ecuador. Alfaro’s Liberalism was based in Masonry. Hence, this Liberal Revolution was based on Masonic principles. In order to obtain control of the country, Alfaro amassed a small army of mercenary soldiers from the coast and marched on the Capital - Quito. Since these soldiers were not well educated - even lacking religious education and came from impoverished and wild areas of Ecuador, it was easy for Alfaro to mold them into a very violent brutal uncultured band of rebels. It was this army that worked via the orders of Alfaro to undo all the work that Garcia Moreno had achieved. Alfaro was an extraordinary orator and as he was very well trained in infusing the Liberal ideas into the minds of enthusiastic young men of the time. In short order. he was able to groom them into militaristic Masonic revolutionaries who blindly obeyed his orders. In our present time, they would be known as subversive terrorists. Thus, Alfaro was successful in obtaining power of the presidency by staging an armed coup with these armies and deposing the president of that time.
The military hordes of this diabolical Liberal Revolution, the Alfaristas, focused on Quito, Riobamba and other important cities of Ecuador in trying to gain control away from the Catholic Church most especially regarding education and influencing society. They aimed their attention on religious houses, convents, monasteries and schools - most especially the Jesuits because they were not only an order based on educating and spreading Catholicism, but also an order founded to defend the Church against its enemies which at that time of its foundation were the Turks. Later, this order was the main instrument in defending Her in the Counter- Reformation. And thus, if the enemies of the Church knew their opponents, it only makes sense that they would attack one of the main organizations in the front lines in the conquest of souls. Thus, this particular “revolution” in South America was just one of the hundreds of uprisings instigated by the enemies of the Church. Since the time of the French Revolution, these same such rebellions against God and a moral society had circumnavigated the globe fomenting revolutions with just different titles… such as Communism, Fascism etc. until the present day.