a boat on the rough sea / 荒波の小舟

April 26, 2011



1927 Belgium
‘Caritas’

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.

ヨーロッパには古くから援助の精神があったようですが、切手の額面を少し増やして義援金を集める寄附金付き切手は1890年代に発行されはじめたようです。

「Caritas」は1897年にドイツで設立され今も続くカソリック系の団体です。援助は貧困に苦しむ人たち、政治的にしいたげられた人たちなど向けられますが、この切手の1927年のベルギーで、荒れた海に浮かぶ小さな舟に乗っていたのが誰だったのか、調べてみたけれどわかりませんでした。誰だったにしろ、悲しみに沈む表情と象徴的な波の描写が印象に残る切手です。

2 Responses to “a boat on the rough sea / 荒波の小舟”

  1. Melvin J. Luedke Says:

    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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