By: Augustine Berthe
Gabriel Gregorio Fernando José María García y Moreno y Morán de Buitrón (1821–1875) was an Ecuadorian politician who twice served as President of Ecuador (1859-1865 and 1869-1875) and was assassinated during his second term, after being elected to a third term. He is noted for his conservatism, Catholic religious perspective and rivalry with liberal strongman Eloy Alfaro. Under his administration, Ecuador became a leader in science and higher education within Latin America. In addition to the advances in education and science, he was noted for economically and agriculturally advancing the country, as well as for his staunch opposition to corruption, even giving his own salary to charity.
His life and death was prophesied by the Blessed Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Quito) in the 1500's to a holy nun, Venerable Mother Mariana as follows: "In the 19th Century there will be a truly Catholic president, a man of character whom God Our Lord will give the palm of martyrdom on the square adjoining this Convent. He will consecrate the Republic to the Sacred Heart of My Most Holy Son, and this consecration will sustain the Catholic Religion in the years that will follow, which will be ill-fated ones for the Church. These years, during which the evil sect of Masonry will take control of the civil government – will see a cruel persecution of all religious communities, and they will also strike out violently against this one of mine."