World Stamps

Italy and Vatican City celebrate 200th birthday of John Bosco

Apr 29, 2021, 5 PM

By Denise McCarty

A May 19 joint issue from Italy and Vatican City celebrates the 200th birth anniversary of John Bosco, also known as Don Bosco.

Born Aug. 16, 1815, near Castelnuovo, Italy, he became a priest, educator, writer and the founder of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He died in 1888, and was canonized as a saint in 1934.

The new-issue announcement from Vatican City summed up his life: “He is remembered for his great commitment, care and compassion shown to young people, especially the poorest and those with difficulties.’’

The two stamps, each with a denomination of 0.80 euros, show the same design featuring a portrait of Bosco in blue and white and a group of symbolic young people cheering.

The Italian State Polygraphic Institute printed the Italy stamp in sheets of 28. The Vatican City stamp was printed by Cartor in a pane of six. Shown in the selvage is the Basilica of John Basco in his home town.