Arago: Commemoratives


As with his definitive issues, Benedict XVI's commemoratives are marked by the Vatican's usual characteristics: high quality of design and production, limited print runs, and themes relevant to religion, history, and art. The 2005 Europa issues feature fishes painted on ceramic plates by Pablo Picasso, from the collections of the Vatican Museums. This was a highly creative response to that year's Europa theme, gastronomy, on the part of a state with no distinctive national cuisine.

Other commemorative stamps — many of them joint issues — have emphasized Vatican City's ties to other historically Catholic countries on the European continent, including France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Malta, and Hungary. This reflects the pope's desire to restore the vitality of Christianity in a largely secular Europe. When he selected the name Benedict in 2005, the pope explained that his name was meant to "recall Saint Benedict of Nursia, co-patron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe." In particular, most of the annual Christmas stamps during Benedict XVI's reign have been a joint issue with another European nation.

Additional Records
  • Overview
  • 45c Pope Benedict XVI Wearing Stole single
  • 62c Pope Benedict XVI Wearing White Vestments single
  • 80c Pople Benedict XVI Wearing Miter single
  • 62c 20th World Youth Day single
  • 62c 'Ceramic Plate Depicting Fish' single
  • 80c 'Ceramic Plate Depicting Fish' single
  • 45c Arms of Vatican City, Italy and Pen single
  • 2.80 euro Arms of Vatican City, Italy and Map single
  • 60c Detail of 'Ressurrection of Christ' single
  • 62c Detail of 'Ressurrection of Christ' single
  • 80c Detail of 'Ressurrection of Christ' single

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