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Over 500 stamps from 40 countries commemorate Jesuits.
Some Jesuit scientists are seen in this slide show.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1892-1955) was a French theologian/paleontologist.
Pietro Secchi (1818-1878), the Father of Astrophysics, was an Italian astronomer who perfected the meteorgraph and the spectrograph.
Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) was an Italian astronomer/missionary to China.
Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) was a French explorer who first charted the Mississippi River. He knew six native dialects.
Eusebio Kino (1644-1711) was an Austrian explorer who fought for the rights of the native Americans and also taught them how to raise cattle.
Francesco Lana-Terzi (1631-1687) is called the "Father of Aviation"
Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688) was a Belgian astronomer/missionary in China.
Joseph Castiglione (1688-1766) was an Italian artist whose equestrian paintings were used for Chinese commemorative stamps.
John Carroll (1736-1816) was an American educator and founder of Georgetown University.
Roger Boscovich (1711-1787) was a Croatian mathematician and is credited with presenting the first ever coherent atomic theory.
The fact that eighty countries of the world have found that the Jesuit impact on these countries deserves commemorative stamps is an emphatic endorsement of world-wide interest in Jesuits. A few copies of the hundreds of stamps concerning Jesuit apostolates have been selected and displayed on these four pages. They are arranged in eight different categories (two to a page) with as many stamps on a page as could reasonably fit. The narratives for the stamps derive from sources such asThe Jesuit Annuarium (Yearbook) and Bangert's History of the Society of Jesus
Some Jesuits fall into several categories so are mentioned more than once as long as there were different stamps for the different categories. Unfortunately many Jesuits who deserve mention were never honored by stamps. So, while this collection is not an exhaustive history of the Jesuit Society, it does indicate the world-wide interest in Jesuits. Pozzo's celebrated fresco on the ceiling of St. Ignatius provides a fitting introduction.
Pozzo's Ceiling in St. Ignatius Church depicting Jesuit apostolic works
Some examples of "Jesuits in stamps"
Bartolomeu Lourenco de Gusmao, S.J. (1685-1724) Brazilian stamps honors this Brazilian Jesuit physicist/inventor and commemorates his public 1709 demonstration at the royal court in Lisbon, in the presence of King John III. He momentarily got off the ground but in doing so set fire to a part of the king's house. "Fortunately the king did not take it ill", an onlooker later wrote. Artist Joseph Castiglione,S.J. (1688-1766) A 1970 Formosa stamp honors this Italian Jesuit artist whose Chinese name was Lang Shih Ning. He reached Peking in 1715 and worked for 50 years as painter and architect of the Imperial Peking Court. On a 25 foot canvas he painted this famous scene of horses at canter. He did this half a century before anyone in Europe would ever succeed in painting such complicated action. 40 Jesuit Martyrs of Brazil A 1970 Brazilian stamp commemorates the 40 young Jesuit Martyrs of Brazil in 1570 when Calvinist pirates captured these scholastics and threw them overboard. Angelo Pietro Secchi, S.J. (1818-1878).A 1979 series of Vatican stamps honors this Italian Jesuit astronomer. The three instruments perfected by Secchi are shown in the stamps: the meteorograph, the spectroscope and the telescope. Astronomers call him "the Father of Astrophysics". Angelo worked in stellar spectroscopy, made the first systematic spectroscopic survey of the heavens, pioneered in classifying stars by their four spectral types, studied sunspots, solar prominences, photographed solar corona during the eclipse in 1860, invented the heliospectroscope, star spectroscope, telespectroscope and meteorograph. He also studied double stars, weather forecasting and terrestrial magnetism. He became director of the Vatican Observatory at the age of 32. Jacques Marquette, S.J. (1637-1675) The first commemorative stamp to a Jesuit was a 6c 1898 American stamp which honored this French Jesuit born in Laon, France who was one of the first to encounter the American Indian. He spoke six Amerindian languages and worked with the Illinois, the Pottawatimis, the Foxes, the Huron, the Ottawa, the Mackinac and Sioux. Although he was only 38 when he died, Wisconsin dedicated a statue of Marquette, noted for his amazing explorations, in Statuary Hall in the Capital in Washington, D. C.
Saint Jean de Brebeuf, S.J. (1593-1649) Three 1977 Canadian Christmas stamps honor this French Jesuit missionary. The story of the Magi is told in Brebeuf's hymn in the Huron language Jesous Ahatonhia. Against the background of the aurora borealis are the "three chiefs" coming to worship at the crib.
Left: A 1994 Belgian stamp commemorates the scientist Monsignor Georges Lemaitre (1884-1966). He was the "Father of the Big Bang Theory." He attended the College du Sacre-Coeur de Charleroi, his home town. We will The very original cosmic theory that made Monsignor Lamaitre famous also brought him to induction into the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences. He further served as President of that body for six years before his death. Right Francesco Lana, S.J., The Father of Aeronautics. Histories of flight refer to his work Prodromo dell'Arte Maestra (1670) as the " the first publication to establish a theory of aerial navigation verified by mathematical accuracy and clearness of perception". Previous descriptions of flight were nothing more than myths and vague fantasies whereas Lana's bold project was based on mathematical calculations and principles of physics. His work was translated by the physicist Robert Hooke in 1690 and was discussed by scientists throughout Europe for a century. It is no exaggeration to say that Lana's ideas lay behind the devlopment of the balloon and led to the successful flight of the Montgolfier brothers in 1783. Left: Maximilian Hell, S.J. (1720 - 1792) A 1970 Czechoslovakian stamp honors this German astronomer, dressed as a Laplander. It was there that he was first to observe a transit of Venus. He was director of the astronomy observatory in Vienna, even after the Suppression of the Jesuits. A lunar crater is named after him.. Right: Paraguay honors Buenaventura Suarez, S.J. a native Jesuit who worked in the famous "Reductions". He was born in 1678 at Santa Fe and became a very proficient astronomer with scientific contacts across the Atlantic in St Petersburg and across the Pacific in Peking. This stamp, showing Kepler, commemorates the first time that a solar eclipse was technically observed in Paraguay on 3 November 1994, as well as the memory of its first astronomer, Buenaventura Suarez, S.J. Left: When Father Alberto Hurtado, S.J. (1901-1952) was declared Blessed by John Paul II (October 16, 1994), Chile issued two stamps with a portrait of the famous spiritual director, preacher, social apostle, and youth leader. To commemorate the centenary of his birth, in 2001 the government of Chile has issued these two new stamps. Right: Brother Joseph Castiglione, S.J. Left: Saint Peter Canisius, S.J. (1521-1597) was a Dutch Jesuit, a renowned preacher, theologian, founder of many of Europe's schools and a Doctor of the Universal Church. Canisius was one of the first Jesuits, was the first Jesuit to publish a book, the first to found a university and the first Jesuit university president. He is called "the second Apostle of Germany". In 1550 he entered Germany with two Jesuits, and by 1580 their number had grown to 1,110. Among the 37 books he wrote is his concise, lucid catechism which became a best seller - circulated in fifteen languages. Right: FERNANDO KONSCAK (1703 Ð 1759) was a cartographer of world reputation. He joined the Society of Jesus in Slovakia and later he went as a missionary to Cuba, Mexico and especially Baja California. He is considered an exceptional cartographer and courageous explorer, even at the level of the well-known Kino. Konscak's scientific achievements are marked by three expeditions between 1746 and 1753 as the result of which he demonstrated clearly that Baja California was not an island. Among his many merits is a detaiIed map of the whole territory up to Colorado. This 1996 Croatian stamp has rescued from oblivion this Jesuit who died in California around the time that the mission suppressed by Charles III of Spain.
Joseph Castiglione,S.J. Blessed Joseph Anchieta, S.J. (1534-1597) A Brazilian stamp celebrates National Apostle of Brazil who started his work 15 years after the Jesuit Society started. Here he is shown instructing a native. Saint Peter Claver, S.J. (1580-1654) Colombia issued many stamps honoring this Spanish Jesuit because of his remarkable life of dedication as Apostle to slaves who were shipped like cattle from Africa to Cartagena. Peter worked relentlessly to alleviate their sufferings, and was the only doctor and teacher they would know. He baptized and instructed more than 300,000 and called himself the "slave of the black slaves for all time". When he died the slaves chanted: "Our best friend is dead".
"A Philatelic Display of the Jesuit Mission" has four parts
- Jesuit Mathematicians and Scientists
- Jesuit Artists and Scholars
- Jesuit Founders and Schools
- Jesuit Missionaries and Saints
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