MARTYRS OF ELICURA
CHILE, 1993, the 4th centenary of the arrival of the Jesuits, Scott 1040
This souvenir sheet marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first Jesuits in Chile in 1593. The stamp portrays St. Ignatius, the founder of the order, while the selvage reproduces an illustration (see below) of an event that took place 19 years later. The inscriptions under and within the original illustration identify the three Jesuit martyrs. Father Martín de Aranda Valdivia, SJ (1560-1612), born in Chile of Spanish parents, stands to the right of the large cross, holding a crucifix in his right hand and raising his left in protest. He quotes words from Mark 6:18 and 1 Cor 6:15. His point is that three of chief Anganamún's wives, having become Christian, could not continue in polygamous marriage with him. The chief shouts from his throne, "Kill them, kill them." As an officer in the service of the King of Spain Aranda was appointed governor of Riobamba. He later entered the Society of Jesus after having made the Spiritual Exercises.
The death of missionaries in Elicura at the hands of the tribal chief Anganamún
found in Histórica relación del Reyno de Chile... by Fr. Alonso de Ovalle, SJ (Rome, 1646)
At the base of the large cross and holding onto it is Fr. Horacio Vecchi, SJ, born in Siena, Italy. In the lower right corner of souvenir sheet may be seen the head of Brother Diego de Montalbán, SJ, and above it the crucifix he holds. Montalbán had been born in Mexico and was still a novice, having entered the Jesuits a mere two months before his death. Vecchi and Montalbán have been pierced by a spear, the first about to have his head cut off, the second about to be clubbed.