History

Mexican Dignitaries Celebrate Bicentennial by Honoring Empress Buried at St. John the Evangelist (05/25/2021)

In honor of Mexico's Bicentennial of the country's independence from Spain in 1821, a small group of political leaders from Mexico will visit us at St. John the Evangelist on Tuesday 25 May. The group, led by former Mexican Congresswoman and current Mayor of the city of Córdoba (Veracruz), Leticia López Landero, will arrive at our church at 4:00 pm Tuesday (updated 5/24). The esteemed visitors will be laying flowers on the tomb of the Iturbide family (Vault 9) in a small ceremony in our cemetery.

The Mexican War of Independence from Spain was led by General Agustín de Iturbide, later acclaimed first Emperor of Mexico for his victories and heroic service to the new nation. Some years later, the Emperor was assassinated by political enemies, and his Empress and family fled to the United States in exile. In the early 1830s the Empress arrived in Philadelphia. She led a quiet life in exile as a parishioner of our church until her death in 1861. Ana María Huarte de Iturbide, first Empress of Mexico, is buried here with several of her children and descendants.