Auto Added by WPeMatico




April 2, 1725, Venice (Republic of Venice, present day Italy) –

June 4, 1798 (Dux, Bohemia, Holy Roman Empire, present day Duchcov, Czech Republic)


The mores of eighteenth-century Venice were very different from those of today – intimate relations tended to be casual without any seriousness. Nobles married for social connections rather than love, so flirtations, bedroom games, and short-term liaisons were common. Venice was ruled by political and religious conservatives and social vices were encouraged, making it the pleasure capital of Europe. Young men coming of age made Venice a must on their European tour. Beautiful courtesans, gambling houses and the famous Carnival preceding Easter were powerful draws. This was the milieu in which Casanova grew up.


Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was the eldest child of six of Gaetano Casanova, an actor and dancer, and Zanetta Farussi, an actress. They were often away on tour, so he was brought up by his grandmother. When he was nine, he was sent to a boarding school in Padua and always resented how is parents “got rid of me.” He disliked the school’s poor conditions, so he appealed to Abbot Gozzi, one of his instructors, to take him in to live with his family which Gozzi did through Casanova’s teenage years. Bettina, one of Gozzi’s sisters, caressed him at age 11 awakening the “first sparks of a feeling which later became my ruling passion.” Casanova and Bettina, as well as the Gozzi family, remained lifelong friends.


Casanova had a quick mind and was perpetually inquisitive. He entered the University of Padua at age 12, graduated at 17 (1742) with a degree in law. His guardian Gozzi was hoping he would become an ecclesiastical lawyer. While at the university he also studied medicine, chemistry, moral philosophy, and became a serious gambler, often in debt. His grandmother recalled him to Venice hoping to break his habit, but she was unsuccessful. While in Venice he was made an abbot and took minor orders. With his 6’ 2” frame he was imposing for his era and became a dandy with long powdered, scented and elaborately curled, dark hair. (The average height for men of Casanova’s time was about 5’, a bit taller in the north, where nutritious food was more plentiful, than the south.)


Casanova was always in need of money, so he often ingratiated himself with a patron. His first was a Venetian senator, Alvise Gasparo Malipiero, who taught Casanova about good food and wine, and how to behave properly in society. Their association came to an abrupt end when Casanova was found dallying with Malipiero’s intended girlfriend, the actress Teresa Imer. This was the first of many scandals which created the persona as we know it today.


After he left Malipiero he entered a seminary for a short period of time but was soon imprisoned for his debts. He managed to become employed by the powerful Cardinal Acquaviva as a scribe, met Pope Benedict XIV, and wrote love letters for another cardinal. A scandal ensued while working for the cardinal which brought an abrupt end to his church career. He then decided to become a military officer for the Republic of Venice but left after a short time.


Now 21, broke and an inveterate gambler, he returned to an old benefactor, Alvise Grimani, and became a violinist at the San Samuele Theater thanks to Grimani’s intervention. He didn’t last long as a violinist as he got into trouble with his friends roaming the streets of Venice at night. Fate, however, would change his life.


While riding in a gondola one evening, one of the other riders, Venetian Senator Bragadin, had a heart attack. He was immediately bled and brought to his palace where the doctor put mercury ointment on his chest, a common remedy of the time. When Casanova saw the senator was getting worse and a priest was called for the last rights, Casanova removed the ointment and washed his chest. He recovered and Casanova was virtually adopted by the senator, invited him to live in his home, showered him with funds, allowing him to live like a playboy aristocrat, dressing well and gambling heavily. Bragadin became Casanova’s lifelong patron, but because of several scandals he had to flee Venice.


Casanova fled to Padua where he met the Frenchwoman Henriette, the love of his life. It was probably the most profound love he ever experienced, since Henriette combined beauty, intelligence and culture. The affair lasted three months. After a good gambling streak in Venice, he reached Paris in 1750. He became a member of the Lodge of the Duke of Clermont and a Master Mason, eventually achieving the highest degree of the Scottish Rite; he never had any Masonic censures against him from his lodge. He loved the secret rites and the men of intellect and influence he met as they would also prove useful providing valuable contacts. He stayed in Paris for two years, learned French, met many influential people, but because of his numerous liaisons, he had to flee Paris.


Casanova then traveled to Dresden, Prague and Vienna. He returned to Venice where the inquisitors blamed him for blasphemies, seductions, fights and public controversy. The inquisitors were also interested in his knowledge of cabalism, Freemasonry and his collection of forbidden books. His old friend, Senator Bragadin, told him to flee immediately or suffer stiff consequences. Sometime afterwards in Venice at age 30, Casanova was arrested for outrages against religion and common decency and was imprisoned for 5 years on the top floor of the Doge’s Palace, reserved for prisoners of higher status. Against extraordinary circumstances, he managed to escape and fled to Paris.

Realizing his stay in Paris this time would be longer than previously, he had to be more calculating and deliberate, especially as he needed a new patron. This was an old friend, Cardinal François-Joachim de Pierre de Bernis, a nobleman from a poor family, now Foreign Minister of France, who told him he should think of a means of raising funds for the state to gain favor. He became a trustee of the state lottery and quickly earned a large fortune because he was a wonderful salesman. With this money he traveled in high circles with new seductions. Because of his excellent memory he duped many with his occultism and numerology. He claimed to be a Rosicrucian and alchemist which made him popular with many prominent figures of the era such as Voltaire (a Freemason) and Madame de Pompadour (official mistress of Louis XV). He was soon asked to sell state bonds in Amsterdam and was rich enough to found a silk manufacturing company the following year. Unfortunately, he ran the company poorly, along with spending on his new conquests, and ran into debt. He was again imprisoned for his debts but was released on the insistence of a good friend and he fled to Holland. He was not safe there either and was on the run fleeing to Cologne, Stuttgart, Einsiedeln (Switzerland), Marseille, Genoa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Modena, Turin, back to Paris and then England. By 1760 he was calling himself the Chevalier de Seingalt or the Count de Farussi (his mother’s maiden name). During this time Pope Clement XIII presented him with the Papal Order of the Éperon d’Or (Order of the Golden Spur) which is rarely bestowed and given to those who have rendered distinguished service by promoting the Catholic faith or having contributed to the glory of the Church by armed defense, by writing or by some other noble achievement. (Other recipients have been Raphael and Mozart.)


He wasn’t too fond of the English mainly because he didn’t speak English well, and travelled on to Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Russia he met with Catherine the Great, and tried to sell her on his lottery ideas, but she was not interested. From there he went on to Warsaw, then Breslau (Prussia) and Dresden. By now he had a venereal infection, and his health was declining. That did not stop him from traveling on to Spain to meet Charles III thanks to well-placed contacts, often Freemasons.


He was allowed to return to Venice after an eighteen-year exile but found Venice had changed and he was not as dynamic a citizen there as he once was. He learned his mother had died and soon afterwards, Bettina Gozzi died in his arms. The Inquisitors of Venice put him on the payroll as a spy, one of his more important investigations was the commerce between the papal states and Venice. Things eventually did not go well so he fled again to Paris, this time meeting Benjamin Franklin. (One of their discussions included hot air balloons). He then went on to Vienna where he met Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart’s librettist. Casanova spoke with Da Ponte and it’s possible their discussion found its way into the libretto for Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni, since the opera is based on a fictional libertine and seducer, Don Juan.


A reversal of fortune forced the aging Casanova, now 60, to accept the position of librarian to Count Joseph Karl von Waldstein, a chamberlain to the emperor, at Dux Castle in Bohemia (Duchcov in the present day Czech Republic.) It was a lonely, boring and frustrating job and he became ill-tempered often fighting with the staff, even over how to cook pasta! But he was well paid, and it became his more productive time for writing. His health was also deteriorating dramatically. He did manage to visit Prague in 1787 to meet again with Lorenzo Da Ponte and see the first production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, considered to be one of Mozart’s masterpieces. (His other operatic masterpieces are Così fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, and the Magic Flute, his Masonic opera.)


In 1797 he learned Napoleon Bonaparte had seized Venice, the republic ceased to exist, and it was too late for him to return home to Venice. Thirteen years after his arrival, Casanova died at Dux and was buried in the cemetery of St. Barbara’s church. His exact gravesite is unknown.


While at Dux, Casanova wrote his memoirs, Histoire de Ma Vie (Story of My Life), in French because it was the language of eighteenth-century intellectuals, and he wanted as wide a readership as possible. He bequeathed his memoirs to his nephew whose descendants later sold it to the German publisher, Friedrich Brockhaus of Leipzig. The Brockhaus family kept it for the next 140 years under lock and key, and miraculously, it survived the allied bombings of Leipzig during World War II. In 2010 the 3,700-page original manuscript was acquired by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (French National Library) after some ferocious bidding for $9.6 million, a new record for a manuscript. The French consider it a national treasure because it is an intimate chronicle of eighteenth-century France where Casanova spent a great deal of his adult life. (When it was first published in 1821 in highly censored form it was placed on the Vatican’s Index of Prohibited Books.) The first uncensored edition in French was published in 1960, and the English translation in 1966. (His letters, saved by the Waldstein family, are in the State Regional Archive in Prague.)


Casanova was recognized by his contemporaries for his far-ranging intellect and curiosity. (Today he is surrounded by so much myth many think he was a fictional character.) He was religious, a devout Catholic, believed in prayer but was also a participant in secret societies and sought answers beyond the conventional. During his lifetime he was a lawyer, clergyman, military officer, violinist, con man, gourmand, dancer, businessman, gambler, astrologer, diplomat, spy, politician, medic, mathematician, social philosopher, cabalist, playwright, translator (The Iliad into the Venetian dialect) and writer (a science fiction novel, a protofeminist pamphlet, and several mathematical treatises). He, like Brother Benjamin Franklin, was a genuine polymath.


Respectfully Submitted,


Br. Richard Gentile

Jephtha Lodge No. 494

Huntington, NY

How Masons Effected the Creation of the Modern Day Republic of the Philippines


How Masons effected the creation of the modern day Republic of the Philippines

The first evidence of early Masonic activity in the Philippines was during the brief British occupation of Manila from 1762-1764.  It was noted in a letter now in the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain, where the Archbishop of Manila requested the demolition of the Manila Cathedral because it was “desecrated” by the British who were holding military, Masonic meetings in the Cathedral.  The request was not granted, and the historic cathedral still stands today as the premier cathedral of the Philippines.

The first lodge in the Philippines was organized in 1856 by a Spanish naval officer, Jose Malcampo y Monge who later became the Spanish Governor General to the Philippines. The lodge was named Primera Luz Filipina (First Philippine Light) chartered under the Grande Oriente Lusitano of Portugal. From then on, additional lodges were organized – first by the Germans, then followed by the British, then by another Spanish lodge.  No Filipinos were admitted into these lodges.

The first Philippine lodge was organized in Barcelona, Spain, in 1889 by Graciano López Jaena together with some Filipino students and reformists who formed the Logia Revolución under the Gran Oriente Español. In 1890, López Jaena and other Filipino Mason Reformists organized the 2nd lodge named the Logia Solidaridad in Madrid. In January 1891, Filipino Masons in Barcelona and Madrid sought the permission of the Gran Oriente Español to establish lodges in the Philippines.  This was granted on January 6, 1892. The first Filipino Lodge in the Philippines (Logia Nilad) was constituted. A year later, more than 100 new members were accepted to the new lodge with more lodges being organized throughout the country. With the increasing growth of members and lodges within the country, a Regional Grand Council was organized on December 16, 1893.

The country’s popularity and growth of Masonry attracted the alarm and ire of the Spanish Friars who, with their strong influence in the colonial government, initiated a brutal campaign of arrest, exile, imprisonment, torture, and even execution of Masons. The Spanish Government, at the urging of the Friars, banned Masonry and all Masonic activities on December 30, 1896. Coincidentally, Dr. Jose Rizal (the Philippine National Hero), a Master Mason and Past Master of the first Filipino Lodge (Logia Nilad) was executed, and was followed a few days later by the execution of the “13 Martyrs” who were mostly Masons. By then the Philippine Reform Movement has had turned into a full-blown, armed Revolution. The roll of the Revolutionary Movement leaders was filled with Masons like General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the First (Revolutionary) Philippine Republic, Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution, and Apolinario Mabini, the brains of the Revolution, to name a few.

The Filipino rebels gained victories throughout the country which eventually led to the Spanish to be being isolated, besieged and surrounded in the Walled City/Fort of Intramuros in Manila. Just when victory was ripe for the taking by the Filipino Revolutionaries, the United States entered the political scene with the arrival of Admiral George Dewey’s Asiatic Squadron in Manila Bay on May 1898.  Through the treaty of Paris in 1898 between Spain and the United States with the Philippines not invited to participate, the Philippines were ceded (sold) by Spain  to the United States for $20 million. This agreement did not bode well with the Filipinos who were left out of the  negotiations. The Philippine Revolutionaries this time resumed hostilities against the American occupiers, called the Philippine American Revolution, which lasted for three years from 1899-1902.

With the American occupation of the Philippines, which lasted until Philippine independence in 1946, came the arrival of American Masons and American Lodges.  One was a lodge organized by Military volunteers from North Dakota. Another was a Prince Hall Lodge organized by African American servicemen from Missouri. There was also a lodge organized under the Grand Lodge of California.  With the growth of American lodges, there was also a resurgence of Filipino lodges under the former Regional Council.

On November 17, 1912, three lodges of the Grand Lodge of California held a meeting to prepare for the eventual organization of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. On December 12, 1912, a convention was held with delegates from these three lodges where the completed constitution for the new Grand Lodge was presented and approved with Brother Eugene Stafford elected as the first Grand Master. None of the Filipino lodges or Masons were invited to this convention. The reason for this non-invitation was that the petitioning Lodges were anticipating that the presence of “Irregular Lodges” (lodges of foreign jurisdiction) in their ranks that would lead the Grand Lodge of California to disapprove the petition. Being sensitive to the needs of the Filipino Masons and in the true spirit of “Brotherly Love,” Brothers from both sides, notably led by the First Grand Master Eugene Stafford on the American side and Manuel L. Quezon, (the future first President of the Commonwealth Republic of the Philippines) on the Filipino side, worked tirelessly on the delicate matter of the fusion of the two groups. On February 14, 1917, twenty-seven Filipino Lodges of the former Regional Council were constituted into the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. After all the business of the fusion were attended to and completed, the group proceeded to elect officers for the coming Masonic year. The American members of the Grand Lodge realized they had effectively handed over to their Filipino brothers control of the Lodge with the Filipinos now having a majority of members and lodges. To the surprise of the Americans, WB Manuel Quezon, a Filipino, was elected as Deputy Grand Master. When asked about the election turn-out, Manuel Quezon reported saying that since the Americans were magnanimous in handing over the control of the Grand Lodge to the Filipinos, the Filipinos would share the privilege and honor of the Grand Masters Chair alternately on a yearly rotation with their American counterparts. That honorable agreement lasted from 1917-1974 when the last American Grand Master MW John Wallace was elected.

Masonry and Masons had very a strong influence in the direction and outcome of the Reform and Revolutionary periods of Philippine history, both of which were organized, led, and fought by Masons. The Philippine flag, which was designed by Brother General Emilio Aguinaldo, has strong Masonic influence, it being patterned after the Masonic apron with the “three stars” representing the ”Three Great Lights”.

Today, the Grand Lodge of the Philippines stands strong on its historical foundation with more than 21,000 members from all walks of life in over 460 lodges. Filipino Masonic lodges are also active and growing in US Grand Lodge jurisdictions such as the Grand Lodge of New York, New Jersey and California, to name a few.

I wish to thank my brother-in-law, Past Worshipful Dr Victor Pajares of the Philippines, for his help in the preparation of this article.

Respectfully submitted,

William Friedman

Jephtha Lodge No. 494

An Evening with Psychic Medium Jeffrey Wands

On Saturday, November 5th, Riverhead Lodge #645 Free & Accepted Masons will host “An Evening with Psychic Medium Jeffrey Wands” in the Lodge collation room.  General Admission tickets are only $40.00 per person and open to All.  Each attendee will receive a complimentary glass of wine or beer with admission.

Doors open at 6:00 pm with Mr. Wands taking center stage at approximately 7:00 pm.

This is a great event and Mr. Wands is always quite engaging with the audience.

Tickets may be purchased online here at

Tickets can also be purchased via mail by contacting Terry Maccarrone at (631)-334-3698.

The venue is handicapped accessible.

Riverhead Lodge is located at 1246 Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead, immediately south of the Rte. 58 traffic circle. The entrance is at the rear of the building.

Call with questions.

Rules to live by

If you have every looked closely at Masonic protocol & etiquette as well as Masonic Landmarks and law, it should become evident that there is a common thread.

WBro. Washington wrote a booklet on rules of etiquette for gentleman. He gleaned most of this from books he had read as a boy and young man and from most sources here tried to live by these same rules.

I recently came across a social media post for “Rules to teach your son”. The post reminded me a lot of WBro. Washington’s booklet, albeit with a slightly more modern twist on it. I would also re-title this “Rules to teach a young Mason” The items in Red are the ones I would include that list. What’s your list look like?

Rules to teach your son

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.  – Common Courtesy
  2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs. – Be bold when called for
  3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king. – Among men this is an axiom
  4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer. – Common Sense
  5. Request the late check-out. – Enjoy life
  6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it. – Self Explanatory of course
  7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard. – Never step down, always bid men step up to you
  8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas. – Again, Common courtesy
  9. Play with passion or don’t play at all… – If you are going to do something, give it your all
  10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye. – Directly out of WBro. Washington’s booklet
  11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be. – Don’t let anything stop you in your pursuit of your dreams
  12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point. – Certainly true
  13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her. – Be the rock for the ones you love
  14. You marry the girl; you marry her family. – The nuclear and extended family is what make you what you are, love all of them
  15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath. – Never let them see you sweat
  16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone. – Know thyself
  17. Never be afraid to ask out the best-looking girl in the room. – pursuit of happiness
  18. Never turn down a breath mint. – share and accept what is offered to you graciously
  19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words. – Always overdress for an event or occasion. You can always remove to dress down
  20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising. – Momento Mori
  21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him. – Yes “thank you for your service is always nice, if you get the chance buy them a drink or event lunch. 
  22. Eat lunch with the new kid. – seek out new members at meetings and get to know them, introduce them to well informed brothers
  23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it. – This, as in all things, is an axiom
  24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win. – Your mom will always be your mom
  25. Manners maketh the man. – Again, right out of WBro. Washington’s booklet
  26. Give credit. Take the blame. – Definitely applies to every WM
  27. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied. – Always and every time
  28. Write down your dreams. – Set goals, write them down and reference them regularly
  29. Take time to snuggle your pets, they love you so much and are always happy to see you. – of course, they are family
  30. Be confident and humble at the same time. – Stand erect among men, be the example of grace and humility
  31. If ever in doubt, remember whose son you are that you are a Freemasons and REFUSE to just be ordinary! – This is key to showing those in your life and the world what a Freemason is.
  32. In all things lead by example not explanation. – Another truism if there were any

The rules above (with commentary) are not arbitrary. Like the “Golden Rule”, they have come down from antiquity from many, if not all, civilizations in one form or another.

Civilization must have “rules” like the golden rule and maybe even some or all of those above to be civilized. Freemasons need to embody No. 32 and exemplify it in all we do.

Just to cement the ideas above I will also offer the following:

In The Farmer’s Almanac for 1823 published at Andover, Mass., the following was printed under the heading,
 of a Freemason”

The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of Mankind by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct.
Other men are honest in fear of punishment which the law might inflect they are religious in expectation of being rewarded, or in dread of the devil, in the next world.
A Freemason would be just if there were no laws, human or divine except those written in his heart by the finger of his Creator. In every climate, under every system of religion, he is the same.
He kneels before the Universal Throne of God in gratitude for the blessings he has received and humble solicitation for his future protection.
He venerates the good men of all religions.
He disturbs not the religion of others.
He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself.
He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended.
He contracts no debts which he is certain he cannot discharge because he is honest upon principal.

Finally, I believe Bro. John “The Duke” Wayne said it more simply, yet succinctly:


“I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” ― Bro. John Wayne “The Shootist”




It would really be a wonderful thing to hear what the Brothers say about the rules above, would you add any, remove any, re-word any? If you want a lively discussion in a Lodge, bring up what does it mean to be a Freemason, and a man.