Portugal, a country steeped in history and tradition, is home to a number of Freemason lodges, including in Lisbon the Capital. There are also lodges in The Algarve, Porto and Faro. These lodges played a significant role in shaping the nation’s cultural, social, and political landscape. Freemasonry, a secretive and often misunderstood fraternal organisation, has been present in Portugal for centuries. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Freemasonry in Portugal, exploring its history, influence, and some famous masonic lodges.
History of Freemasonry in Portugal
Freemasonry arrived in Portugal in the 18th century, during the reign of King João V. The exact date of its introduction is a subject of debate among historians. However, they believe that the first Masonic lodges began to form in Lisbon around 1727. French and English Masonic traditions influenced these early lodges. They played a significant role in the Enlightenment period that swept through Europe.
Famous Freemasons in Portuguese History
Freemasonry in Portugal has attracted influential individuals from various walks of life. Some famous Portuguese Freemasons include:
- Marquês de Pombal: Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, also known as the Marquês de Pombal, was a prominent statesman who served as the Prime Minister of Portugal during the reign of King José I. They credited him with implementing important reforms and modernising the country. Pombal was an active Freemason and used his influence to advance the Masonic cause in Portugal.
- Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, a renowned Portuguese poet of the 18th century, was also a Freemason. His works often contained Masonic symbolism and themes.
- José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva: Though born in Brazil, José Bonifácio was a key figure in the Brazilian independence movement and a leading statesman in Portugal during the early 19th century. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge “Comércio e Artes” in Lisbon and played a role in advocating for liberal reforms.
Freemason Lodges in Portugal
- Grande Oriente Lusitano (GOL): Founded in 1802, GOL is one of the oldest and most influential Masonic organisations in Portugal. It has a rich history of supporting liberal and progressive ideals. This includes the separation of church and state and the promotion of freedom of thought.
- Grande Loja Regular de Portugal (GLRP): GLRP is another prominent Masonic body in Portugal, known for its adherence to traditional Masonic principles and rituals. It was founded in 1933 and is recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
- Grande Loja Legal de Portugal/GLNP: This is another significant Masonic body that follows regular Masonic practices. It was established in the 1980s and is recognised by several international Masonic organisations.
Freemasonry in Portugal has a deep-rooted history and has played a role in shaping the nation’s culture and politics. The secretive nature of Freemasonry has often led to misconceptions and myths. It remains an intriguing and influential aspect of Portuguese society. The lodges mentioned in this blog post are just a glimpse into the world of Freemasonry in Portugal. There is much more to explore for those interested in the hidden history of this organisation.