Father Buenaventura Suarez, SJ
First Astronomer of Paraguay



 Scott 2496
detail of stamp
PARAGUAY, 1994, on the occasion of a total solar eclipse, Scott 2496
The scientist portrayed is Kepler, but the inscription on the left side (detail above) reads
"Buenaventura Suarez, Jesuita - Primer Astronomo del Paraguay"
and the main feature is Suarez's sundial from the Cosmas and Damian mission

Buenaventura Suarez, SJ, did most of his work on the mission of Saints Cosmas and Damian as a missionary priest, but he also made that mission a center for astronomical research in the reductions. He was a self-taught astronomer working mostly with instruments he made himself. He made accurate measurements and made them available through publications and letters to his fellow astronomers. After the Suppression his instruments were lost except for the sundial at Cosmas and Damian that is featured on this stamp. The stamp was issued to mark 3 November 1994, the first time a solar eclipse was technically observed in Paraguay.