The Vatican’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office launched new stamps commemorating the 50 year “golden anniversary” of Pope Francis’ ordination as a priest.

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State, Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico, is responsible for issuing the Vatican’s postal stamps and coins.

The office issued two new stamps: ‘Young Bergoglio’ and ‘Pope Francis,’ reproductions of two paintings made by Spanish painter Raul Berzosa, who says capture “the joy of that December 13, 1969, eve of the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday or Sunday of Joy), when he was ordained priest.”

“We are celebrating 50 years of priesthood for Pope Francis. In these stamps we draw him as a young man, when he made his decision as a young seminarian, and a young priest. Then, we move to him today when he’s arrived at the apex of what a priest can do in this earthly life, become St. Peter’s successor.”

Young Bergoglio

The first stamp features the Basilica of Saint Joseph of Flores to the left, because “it was there that he felt God was calling him, left with the conviction to embrace the priesthood.” On the right, one of Pope Francis’ “great devotions, which has accompanied him up to today, the ‘Virgin Undoer of Knots.’ He took the image to Buenos Aires after learning her title during one of his trips to Germany. Bluish colors predominate on the canvas in reference to Argentina.”

Pope Francis

The second stamp features Pope Francis “represented in a frontal way blessing the onlooker.” To his left is “the front of the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Basilica. The colors of the Vatican, ochre, and white, predominate.” On his right, the Jesus of Divine Mercy, “another of his great devotions, a reference to his pontificate, since mercy has been a main part Francis’ pontificate, reflected in his convocation of the extraordinary holy year known as the Year of Mercy.”

Young Bergoglio is worth 1.10 euros, while Pope Francis is worth 1.15 euros. The two stamps will be presented to him during his general audience today, Wednesday December 11th.

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