Vatican Launches Stamps Recognizing Pope Francis’ 50th Anniversary as Priest

Tags: Currents Faith, Inspiration, Pope Francis, World News

By Melissa Butz

The golden anniversary is a milestone for anyone, regardless of vocation. This year, the 50 year landmark is for Pope Francis, remembering the day he was ordained a priest in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 13, 1969.

“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,” Mauro Olivieri said of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office.

The artist who made these stamps a reality is Spanish, Raul Berzosa. He made these paintings with various representations of aspects of Pope Francis’ life and his closest devotions during his priesthood.

“Pope Francis, or at the time, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has in the background the church of San Jose where he strongly heard the call the Lord’s call. The other image on this stamp, is the Our Lady the Undoer of Knots,” said Olivieri.

This Blessed Mother is the one to whom Pope Francis is most devoted. She acts as the intermediary who unties the knots and frees one from difficulties in life.

“On the other stamp we have the pope today, smiling, as we often see him during his public appearances. Behind him, there is Jesus of Divine Mercy and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Jesus of Divine Mercy is a reference to his pontificate, since mercy has been a main part Francis’ pontificate,” said Olivieri.

These painted works have been made into stamps, each with a different price amount. The young Bergoglio is 1.10 euros while the current Pope Francis is 1.15 euros.

These stamps will be presented to Pope Francis at the General Audience on Dec. 11. The artist’s work has been presented to the pope as a stamp on other occasions, like for the Holy Father’s 80th birthday in 2016.