Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz, SJ
PARAGUAY, 1956, the 4th centenary of the death of Ignatius Loyola, Scott 521, 524
these stamps bear portraits of St. Roque Gonzalez with St. Ignatius (the second value also shown imperf)
St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz was born in Asunción in 1576 and was ordained at the age of 22. Some ten years later he entered the Society, and from then on spent his life seeking out the natives, converting them, teaching them and settling them in townships. It was he who organized and built San Ignacio Guazú. From there he moved up toward the Paraná, and for 10 years did extraordinary work as missionary and explorer, founding many villages in what is now Argentina. Of Jesuit goals in the Reductions he said, "We work for justice. The Indians need to be freed from the slavery and harsh personal servitude in which they now exist. In justice they are exempt from this by natural, divine, and human law." In the last years of his life he had the aid of St. Juan del Castillo, SJ and St. Alonso Rodríguez, SJ. An native witch doctor named Nazu hatched a plot to kill all three. On 15 December 1628 Gonzalez and Rodriguez were slaughtered, their bodies mutilated and burned. Two days later the assailants caught del Castillo and killed him with appalling tortures. Gonzales is the first person born in the Americas to be canonized.
PARAGUAY, 1992, this stamp in honor of Gonzalez was later overprinted for Christmas, Scott 2412, 2421
The crowned 500 with intersecting hemispheres symbolizes the 5th centenary of the discovery of America.
PARAGUAY, 1966 the 350th anniversary of San Ignacio Guazú, Scott 935-938
four of the eight stamps repeated the Ignatius-Gonzalez type of 1956
ARGENTINA, 2006, the St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz Bridge between Argentina and Paraguay, Scott 2415
This cable-stayed bridge, built between 1981 and 1990, crosses the Paraná River between the cities of Posadas in the province of Missiones, Argentina, and Encarnación in Paraguay. The bridge is named in honor of Saint Roque González de Santa Cruz who is the patron saint of both cities. And rightly so, since he founded the city of Posadas in 1615 (then called Itapúa) and subsequently moved the reduction to the other side of the river, where today is the city of Encarnación. The main span of the bridge is 1,870 feet long, the approaching viaduct is 5,233 feet long.
PARAGUAY, 1954, a set of 11 stamps issued to celebrate the centenary of the Church of St. Roque Gonzalez, Scott C205-C215
MOZAMBIQUE, 2008, 20th anniversary of Roque Gonzalez's canonization:
the sheet, which exists imperf, also shows Fr. Antonio Vieira in the selvage
BRAZIL, 2009, postmark from Roque Gonzales, named after Roque González de Santa Cruza, SJ, a town and municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is not very far from Argentina to the west across the Uruguay River.
Paraguay featured Roque Gonzalez as both image and watermark on this 100,000 Guarani note issued in 2004. More
Image courtesy of Morris Lawing