The article offers a contextualized introduction to one of the most interesting and understudied Spanish American responses to mid-nineteenth-century anticlericalism: Manuel Ramírez Aparicio's Los conventos suprimidos en México (1861–62), a unique assessment of the Reforma's aftermath and a pioneering historiographical effort eluding any facile categorization. Penned by a moderate Liberal who did not endorse the obliteration of the Catholic legacy, it inaugurated the conventual history genre in Mexico, the first of many textual and visual efforts to preserve the receding religious memory in print. The article highlights the first-person autopsy regime that determined the work's methodology, uncovers the assumptions that underlay Ramírez Aparicio's conception of inevitable historical change, and showcases how the notion of national material patrimony, paired with the idea of a Christianized Reforma, aimed at guaranteeing the permanence of all that was noble, admirable, and beneficial in conventual life while reconciling it with the Liberal Party's main tenets.

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