September 30 is the birthday of José María Teclo Morelos Pérez y Pavón, yet another hero of the Mexican war for independence. He was born in Valladolid, Michoacan which was renamed Morelia in his honor as was the state of Morelos. In those areas, a bit of a hoopla goes on in honor of the birthday boy. Not so much in other areas.
Morelos was a student at the school Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo where Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a teacher and became an ordained priest. He had three children with Brigida Almonte, two sons, and a daughter. He sent his oldest son Juan Nepomuceno Almonte to the United States both for educational and safety reasons.
Under Morelos’s military leadership, the fight for independence progressed. He headed the National Constituent Congress of Chilpancingo in 1813 which drafted the “Sentimientos de la Nación” (Sentiments of the Nation) declaring Mexico’s independence from Spain. Congress offered the title Generalissimo (Your Highness) to Morelos but he declined and asked to be called el Siervo de la Nación (Servant of the Nation).
Morelos was captured by the Spanish in 1815 tried for treason, disloyalty to the crown, and transgressions in his personal life. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad on December 22.
Morelos is found on the 50 peso note along with the state symbol, the Monarch butterfly. The reverse pictures the aqueduct in Morelia, the Bank of Mexico symbol and the prehispanic symbol for Michoacan. And yes, it is pink. Pink is an acceptable masculine color here in Mexico.
Learn more about Mexican holidays and historical figures!