a boat on the rough sea



15 December 1927, Belgium
design & engrave: Institut de Gravure, Paris

Charity stamps, known also as semi-postal, were a great invention to collect charitable funds to support people who need help.

Caritas, named after the Latin for ‘charity’ or ‘virtue’, was formed by Catholic members in 1897.  Their mission was to make a better world, especially for poor and oppressed people. I consulted the history of Belgium around 1927, but did not discover who Caritas were raising money for in this case.  Whoever the people in the boat are, the stamps are in impressive contrast between sad faces and the abstract lines of waves – appealing for help.



2 thoughts on “a boat on the rough sea

  1. Within the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the entry for the year 891 A.D. says that three Irishmen “came to King Alfred in a boat without any oars… because they wished to go on a pilgrimage for love of God, they cared not where.” This journey of faith, the Catholic connection, and the fact that the image seems to match the story is a strong indication that these are the three Celtic monks spoken of in the chronicle. However, I have not found a primary source to make a rock-solid confirmation.
    M. Luedke

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