Brother Juan Fernández, SJ
Companion of Xavier



Brother Juan Fernández, SJ on St. Vincent Grenadines Scott 1779h Painting showig Brother Juan Fernández, SJ
ST VINCENT & GRENADINES, 1993, a bicentennial of the Louvre souvenir sheet
(one of very many issued by various countries in the same format), Scott 1779h
shows this detail from Poussin's The Miracle of St. Francis Xavier with Brother Juan Fernández kneeling to the right

In 1641 Poussin received a commission from Sublet de Noyers, Superintendent of the Royal Factories of Louis XIII, to paint a great picture for the high altar of the Jesuit novitiate. It is, in fact, the largest work executed by Poussin: Saint Francis Xavier returning to life the daughter of an inhabitant of Kagoshima in Japan. Near the saint, the Jesuit brother Juan Fernández (also seen in the stamps below), moved by the miracle, falls to his knees and lifts his face to the sky. Each member of the family shows a different feeling: pain, gratitude, surprise.

Brother Juan Fernández, SJ on Macao Scott 705 Brother Juan Fernández, SJ on Portugal Scott 1965
The 450th anniversary of Portuguese in Japan
detail of a screen Portuguese Carrack at Japanese Port
MACAO, 1993, Scott 705, and PORTUGAL, 1993, Scott 1965

Brother Juan Fernández was born in Cordoba, Spain. He was a rich merchant before he was converted and entered the Jesuits. He left Lisbon on March 17, 1548 for the Indies and arrived at Goa September 3. From there he, Francis Xavier, and Father Cosme de Torres set out together from Goa for Japan on Palm Sunday, 17 April 1549 and arrived at the city of Kagoshima in Japan on the feast of the Assumption, 15 August of the same year, the fifteenth anniversary of the vows at Montmartre of the First Companions. Fernández was the author of the first Japanese dictionary and grammar. The three religious on the stamp (note the rosary) are presumably the three Jesuit missionaries who arrived in 1549, but whose arrival was significant enough to commemorate on this occasion. More