Rizal was excommunicated by the Catholic Church when he joined the Masonry. Influenced by Miguel Morayta, a history professor at the Universidad de Madrid, Rizal joined Masonry, under the Gran Oriente de Español, adopting the Masonic name, Dimasalang. He was automatically excommunicated, expelled from the Catholic Church, a fate decreed for all Catholics becoming Masons since 1738 and reaffirmed by the CBCP in 1990. Some argued that Dr. Rizal wrote those anti-catholic passages on his letters, poems and novels during the times when he was still excommunicated from his Catholic faith. So, he was really an enemy of the Catholic Church of that time. But prior to his execution by firing squad, he wrote a retraction letter which in turn rejects all the things he wrote about the Roman Catholic Church. Catholic legend has it that as if fearing for his salvation, Rizal regained his faith on his last night thus leading to his retraction saying “ I declare myself a Catholic; I wish to live and die as a Catholic; I retract with all my heart all that I have said, written and done against the Church and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Being a mason, Rizal and Josephine could not get married. Josephine and Rizal reunited for the last time at the latter’s cell in Fort Santiago on December 30, 1896. The couple were married in Catholic rites by Fr. Victor Balaguer two hours before Rizal’s execution at Bagumbayan. After his execution Josephine, accompanied by Paciano and Trinidad Rizal entered rebel territory in Cavite. They were received by Andres Bonifacio who received from the Rizals a copy of the hero’s last poem which would be known as the Mi Ultimo Adios.
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