Father Francisco Rodrígues da Cruz, SJ
The Good Samaritan of Portugal



Father Francisco Rodrígues da Cruz, SJ on Portugal Scott 855 Father Francisco Rodrígues da Cruz, SJ on Portugal Scott 856 Father Francisco Rodrígues da Cruz, SJ on Portugal cancel
PORTUGAL, 1960, Scott 855-856, and its FDI cancel
the same day as stamps honoring the 4th centenary of the University of Évora

Father Francisco da Cruz, Servant of God, was born in Alcochete, Setúbal, Portugal, where now a large statue stands in his honor in Revolution Square. He studied at the University of Coimbra, and was ordained in 1882. He first taught philosophy in the seminary of Santarém and directed the school for orphans in Braga, returning afterward to his own diocese, the Patriarchate of Lisbon, where he was spiritual director of the minor seminary. He himself came to Jesuits for spiritual direction most of his life, the latter and greater part of which was spent traveling the length of Portugal visiting prisons and hospitals in every city, giving alms to the poor and ministering spiritually to all. Though he desired as early as 1880 to enter the Society of Jesus his ministry took first place. The superior general of the Jesuits obtained permission first from Pope Pius XI in 1929 to allow Cruz to take vows as a Jesuit on his death bed, against which event Cruz always carried the vow formula with him, and then from Pius XII in 1940 to take vows immediately and without the need of making a novitiate or of residing in a Jesuit community. He did pronounce his vows at the Seminário da Costa in Guimarães on December 3, 1940, the feast of St. Francis Xavier, SJ to whom he had great devotion. His cause for beatification is now being considered.

Father Francisco Rodrígues da Cruz, SJ on Portugal postal card
PORTUGAL, 2009, a postal card celebrating the 150th anniversary of Francisco Cruz's birth
with a FDI cancel from his birthplace, Alochete