Although the first Masonic Lodge in Brazilian territorial waters emerged in Bahia in 1797 on a French frigate, the first Regular Lodge of Brazil was named "Reunion" (Meeting) , founded in 1801 in Rio de Janeiro, driven by an ideology grounded in both political and social purposes. This lodge was affiliated to the Orient du Ile de France, with its representative, Chevalier Laurent. There is evidence of lodges founded by brothers previously inspired by the spirit of freedom, enlightenment and the French Revolution.
The Grande Oriente do Brasil was founded on June 17, 1822 under the auspices of the Modern Rite, by the Adonhiramite fraternity, who were the only existing Masons at the time in Brazil. This is recorded in the minutes of the meeting of 12 July (fifth session of the Grand Orient of Brazil) which contains the proposal for increasing the degree of Chosen Secret for several Brothers, or Grade 4, I Order of Wisdom, the Modern Rite.
In addition, the Act cites the adoption of the "seven degrees of Masonry," or, the Modern Rite, adopted in Brazil for both the Grand Orient Lusitano as in the Grand Orient of France, as the Official Rite.
In the minutes of July 23 (seventh session of the Grand Orient), again cited the award of the Degree of Secret Elected (Secrète Élus ) to several brothers, also citing the same report, the granting of "Rosicrucian Degree" the Grand Master of Masonry Brazilian (maximum degree of Freemasonry at the time).
The minutes of the meeting of August 5, 1822, again refer to the "Seven Degrees of Masonry." In that act resolves to grant H. •. Hippolito de Mendonça the office of delegate to London, in charge of the acquiring for the Grand Orient Brasílico (its name until 1831) recognition from the Grand Lodge of London, sending all the documents and instructions concerning the "System of Seven Masonic Degrees", ie Official documents of the Grand Orient Brasílico.
In the minutes of meeting of September 28, 1822, it says that the Grand Master received the Degree of Knight of the East (6th grade) and was to be receive the Rosicrucian (7th Grade) at the next meeting, showing without a doubt, that the sequence of degrees practiced in the Grand Orient of Brazil was, that of the Modern Rite.
The Masonic signature of Don Pedro I. Masonic •. P: •. M. •. R. •. +, Ie Irmão Pedro, Mason Rose Cross, indicates that the Emperor Pedro held the seventh grade-Modern Rite, Rosicrucian Knight having been elevated to the Grand Master of the Grand Orient.
The first ritual used by the Grand Orient of Brazil in the year of its foundation (1822) at which time it was called the Grand Orient Brasiliano (and Grande Oriente Brasílico (fifth record) eventually assuming its current name of the Grand Orient of Brazil was the Modern Rite.
Due to political instability after the newly acquired independence and rivalries between Jose Bonifacio and Joaquim Gonçalves, the Emperor Pedro I ordered the suspension of all fraternal organizations on October 25, 1822 . After the abdication of Don Pedro on April 7, 1831, the work of the Grand Orient of Brazil re-emerged from the shadows with renewed strength and vigor and has not been shuttered since. The Grand Orient of Brazil, refurbished, Modern Rite and adopted the constitution of the Grand Orient of France, 1826 adapted by Gonçalves Ledo, and taking this as Rite Rite Officer and the work of its Senior Corps.
On June 23, 1892, imitating the reform of the Grand Orient of France in 1877 and the Grand Orient of Belgium in 1872, removed from the rituals the requirement of invocating the Great Architect of the Universe.
The Modern Rite, with its call for social justice proclaimed the equality of races, culminating in the liberation of slaves in Brazil. It was the Modern Rite that fought and won the supremacy of civil over religious power and freedom of religion.The Modern Rite of Freemasonry represents a Brazilian heritage and are an essential part of Brazilian national history.
The Modern Rite does not support limiting the scope of reason, and thus disapproves of dogmatism and ideological impositions. Being rational, it calls for the search for truth even though truth may be temporary and constantly changing.
The philosophy of the Rite opposes any form of discrimination. The absence of women in the Grande Orient du Brasil is due to the implementation of treaties and not the nature of the rite.
Brief History of the Modern Rite Supreme Council
The Most Powerful and Sublime Grand Chapter of Modern Rite in Brazil was founded by Manoel Joaquim Menezes, E. 1842, •. V. •. with the title of Grand Chapter of Blue Rites.
He was accepted and recognized as Grand Chief of the Modern Rite Office in Brazil by the Grand Orient of Brazil.
As of November 25, 1874, the Supreme Council began to operate under the name Grand Chapter of Modern or French Rite.
The designation of Very Powerful and Sublime Grand Chapter of Modern Rite for Brazil was adopted on March 9, 1953.
On June 7, 1976 it was renamed the Modern Rite Supreme Council for Brazil.
Finally, in 1992, the 150th anniversary of its foundation, and by virtue of being the only exisiing Head of Modern Rite Office for all grades continuously practicing universal Freemasonry, it was renamed the Supreme Council of the Modern Rite.
Remember that the Grand Chapitre Français received in 1989 the Patent for the Orders of Wisdom from the hands of the Supreme Council of the Modern Rite of Brazil.
The structure of work consisted of 7 Modern Rite Degrees (3 symbolic degrees and the Four Orders of Wisdom) until 1999. In that year was activated using an unquestionable legitimacy, Order V° with two new grades 8 and 9:
5 th Order - Grade 8 - Knight of the White Eagle and Black Knight Kadosh Philosophical, Inspector of the Rite.
Order 5 th - 9 th Grade - Knight Grand Inspector Wisdom-Rite.
It is believed that there was a time in Portugal when a Grade 8 (Kadosh Perfect Initiate) and even a Grade 9 (Grand Inspector) was worked.
Anyway, the implementation of Order V derived from those contemplated in the Regulations of the Grand Chapitre Général France, 1784 Order with respect to V, is varied according to the various bodies of Advanced Modern Rite degrees today, but is absolutely legitimate and use in spite of its formal diversity.
The first 3 Symbolic Degrees meet in Lodges affiliated with the Lodges (in this case the Grand Orient of Brazil)
For so-called Philosophical Degrees
Grades 4 to 7 (I to IV Order: Chosen, Elected Scottish Knight of the East, Rose-Cross Knight) meet in the Regional Chapter called Sublime.
Grade 8 (V Order) meets in the Great State Council Kadosh.
And Grade 9 (V Order) meets in the Modern Rite Supreme Council, which has national jurisdiction over all philosophical degrees.
At the level of equivalence, for Brazil, the Grade 8 corresponds to 30 of the AASR and grade 9 is 33.
Gracias a Joaquim Villalta