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Jesuit Artists and Jesuit Scholars

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 pages. They are arranged in eight different categories with as many stamps on a page as could reasonably fit. The narratives for the stamps derive from sources such as The 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.

Visit the Jesuit Resource Page for even more links to things Jesuit.

Part 3 The Fine Arts

1,10. 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 .

2. Architect Brother Huyssens, S.J.
A Belgian stamp honors this Jesuit for his remarkable work on the Church of St. Loup in Namur which is part of Belgian's architectural patrimony. Built between 1621 and 1645 according to the design of this Belgian Jesuit Brother, it unites the regional tradition of construction in stone with some features of the Roman School and the Baroque decoration of the period.

3. Artist Enrique Heras, S.J. (1888-1955)
A 1981 Indian stamp honors this Spanish Jesuit artist who founded a research institute of Indian art & culture which inspired native artists, so he is called the "Father of Christian Art in India" .

4. Artist John du Blocq, S.J.
A 1945 Luxembourg stamp displays the cathedral's high altar designed by this Jesuit artist. A series of five Luxembourg stamps celebrates the Consolatrix Afflictorum , the patroness of the city, in this church which had belonged to the Society up until the time of the Suppression of the Society in 1773. It has been the Cathedral since the creation of the diocese in 1870.

5. Architect Ignatius Scoles, S.J.
A 1969 Guyana stamp recalls the Town Hall of which the capitol of Guyana is so proud. Scoles had been the architect for many churches and decided to enter the competition for a design of the Town Hall. He won but declined the $50 award. This stamp proclaims his triumph, however with the declaration: Town Hall, A.D. 1888 - Rev. Ignatius Scoles, S.J. Architect .

6. Architect Gianbattista Primoli, S.J.
An Argentina stamp recalls "an architectural genius" who designed the town hall and buildings of the "Reductions".

7. Artist Daniel Seghers,S.J.
A 1980 Belgian stamp displays his nativity scene.

Poet Friedrich Spee von Langelfeld, S.J. A 1989 Argentina stamp recalls this Jesuit poet and hero of Loymeyer's novel who is proposed for beatification for his death in the service of those stricken by the plague and his courageous literary intervention against the madness of witch hunting.

9. Poet Raphael Landivar, S.J. (1731-1793)
A 1943 Guatemala stamp honors this Spanish Jesuit who is called Guatemala's greatest poet: "the all-time poet laureate of Guatemala - even the taxi drivers can quote him". The 15 books of his epic Rusticatio Mexicana are composed of 5000 lines of Latin hexameters. He describes the Indian pastimes of handball, greased pole, cockfights and bull fights. He exhorts youth to appreciate nature's beautiful gifts. Originally buried in Bologna, his body was moved when Guatemala students petitioned their government to bring the remains of Guatemala's illustrious son home. The University in Guatemala is named Landivar in his honor.

Part 4 Jesuit Scholars

1. John van Bolland, S.J. (1596-1665)
A Belgian stamp honors the Bollandists named after this Belgian historian. The importance of their Acta sanctorum received perhaps overgenerous recognition from Pope Alexander VII who said: "Never had there been undertaken any work more useful to the Church."

2. Juan Mariana, S.J. (1536-1609)
Occasionally French stamps remind us of this Spanish Jesuit theologian with the familiar head of Marianne (a play on his name Mariana), the symbol of the French Revolution. It recalls an unfortunate page of Jesuit history. Mariana's teaching of tyrannicide had been solemnly condemned by one of the early General Congregations of the Society of Jesus but the French used Mariana's name for their mascot to justify the excesses of the French Revolution.

3. Cardinal Peter Pazmany, S.J. (1570-1637)
A 1935 Hungarian stamp honors this Hungarian Jesuit who was the creator of Hungary's philosophical and theological language. His sermons were said to have worked wonders and his writings became a landmark in the history of Hungarian literature.

4. José de Acosta, S.J. (1540-1600)
A 1985 Peruvian stamp displays the catechism of this Spanish Jesuit - the author of a 1585 trilingual Peruvian catechism "the first book printed in South America." Acosta's books impacted greatly the pastoral practice of all Jesuits in South America.

5. Francisco Javier Clavijero, S.J. (1731-1787)
A 1981 Mexican stamp honors the birth of this Mexican Jesuit scholar. Francisco Javier Clavijero stood for the finest of the Catholic Enlightenment in Mexico. He wrote his authoritative Ancient History of Mexico , a painstaking portrayal of the culture of Aztec Mexico. He has been praised as an intellectual leader who prepared the way for Mexican independence.

6. Simon Gregory Perera, S.J.(1882-1950)
A 1982 Sri Lanka stamp honors this Ceylonese historian, a distinguished Jesuit author. He wrote a history of Ceylon which was used in the Ceylonese schools as well as in the critical editions of certain national documents. He was also the author of more than 300 articles which brought him great distinction in the field of Ceylonese literature.

Christopher Clavius, S.J. (1538-1612) A 1982 Vatican stamp honors this German scholar whose (eventual) support of the heliocentric theory was the most suasive reason for the learned to accept it.

8. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1892-1955)
Countless people have found consolation in the optimism in the writings of this French paleontologist shown on this 1982 Jersey stamp.

9. Paraguay Reductions Publications
A series of Paraguay stamps recalls the publications printed in the Paraguay Reductions. The Jesuits came to Paraguay in 1609, built settlements for the Indians and taught them everything from agriculture to architecture. Construction was included, as was metallurgy, farming, ranching and printing. There were presses in the settlements for the school texts as well as for the literature and art. This Utopia was suddenly destroyed by the slave traders who were able to influence the Spanish crown. When the Jesuits were expelled in 1767 they had 57 settlements with 113,716 natives.

10. Lebanon's St. Joseph University Press
A 1938 Lebanese series of stamps recalls the Jesuit printing press at the University of Saint Joseph, founded in 1847, Imprimerie Catholique, Beyrouth, (I.C.B.)

11. Monastery of Maria-Laach
A 1956 German stamp honors Jesuit writers at the monastery of Maria-Laach. The Jesuits used the monastery as a house of writers (1863-1892) until they were expelled during the Kulturkampf. Here began the periodical now known as Stimmen der Zeit .

12. Alexander de Rhodes, S.J. (1591-1660)
inspired a new missionary orientation: the creation of vicars apostolic, aided by diocesan priests, directly under the Holy See and independent of a Portuguese control.

10.1 John Schwarz, S.J. (1737-1767)
Two Ecuadorian stamps commemorate the first book ever published in Ecuador. It was printed in 1755 by Brother John Adam Schwarz, director of Ecuador's first printing press at the Jesuit College of Ambato.
11.1 Writer Guillermo Furlong, S.J. A 1989 Argentina stamp recalls this Jesuit's famous Historical work concerning the activities of the Jesuits in Argentina for four centuries.
12.1 Edwin G. McManus, S. J.(1908-1969) A Caroline Island stamp commemorates a century of Christianity honoring Edwin G. McManus, S. J. as the author of the first Palauan-English dictionary.

13. Author Jon Sveinsson Nonni, S. J.
An Icelandic stamp honors one of this creator of juvenile literature whose stories were translated into 30 languages. This is the first issue of the "European Market".

14. George Joseph Kamél, S. J.
Often stamps display the camellia. It honors this Moravian Jesuit missionary after whom the flower was named in recognition for his services as a botanist in the Philippines.

More about Jesuit history, tradition and spirituality

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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