World Stamps

Vatican, Poland win awards for best religious stamps

Nov 27, 2018, 9 AM

By Linn’s Staff

Vatican City and Poland won St. Gabriel awards for the best religious stamps issued in 2017.

The Vatican City stamps commemorate the 1950th anniversary of the martyrdom of saints Peter and Paul, and the Polish stamp honors St. Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916).

Daniela Fusco designed the two Vatican City stamps issued May 4 (Scott 1653-1654).

The €0.95 stamp depicts St. Peter and symbols related to him: a rooster, which serves as a reminder of Peter’s denial of Jesus three times before the rooster crows (Matthew 26:75, Mark 14:72, Luke 22:61 and John 18:27), and the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19).

One of the keys is inverted, representing the belief that St. Peter was crucified upside down.

In addition to St. Paul, the €1 stamp depicts a book and a sword. The book symbolizes the letters that St. Paul wrote to Christian communities, and the sword recalls his martyrdom as well as his role as a persecutor of Christians before his conversion.

Poland issued its 1.60-zloty stamp honoring Albert (birth name Adam) Chmielowski June 17, 2017 (Scott 4289). Designed by Andrzej and Teresa Sowinscy, the stamp shows a sculpture of the Polish saint inside a perforated heart.

Chmielowski was a painter and also the founder of the Brothers of the Third Order of St. Francis, Servants of the Poor, and Sisters Servants of the Poor. He was canonized Nov. 12, 1989, by Pope John Paul II.

The St. Gabriel award jury included Cardinal Christoph Shonborn, archbishop of Vienna; Luigi Bressan, archbishop emeritus of Trento; Jamil Nassif Abib;
Michalak Bogdan; Franco Filanci; Giorgio Migliavacca; Wilhelm Remes; Annemarie Stresser; and Jan Vallo.

The awards were presented at the ceremony Oct. 7 in Legnago, Italy. Named after “the Lord’s postman,” St. Gabriel, this award for religious stamps was established in 1969 in Verona, Italy.