Malta’s two-stamp souvenir sheet honoring the two new saints.
It’s not just Vatican City commemorating the canonizations of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II through postage stamps and coins.
Post offices and treasuries around the world have taken steps to honor the Catholic Church’s newest saints.
At least 11 countries have joined the Vatican in creating philatelic delights for collectors. Among them are Poland (a joint issue with the Vatican), Benin, Chad, Republic of Congo, Croatia, Djibouti, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta and the Philippines.
The new issues come in both single-stamp and souvenir-sheet formats. In some cases the souvenir sheets include multiple colorful high-denomination, large-format stamps. While technically valid for postage, they are primarily issued in an attempt to attract collector money. Still, they are fun to collect.
One of two souvenir sheets from Philippines Post depicts St. John XXIII.
Among the most interesting issues are the two 3-D, embossed gold foil stamps from Philippines Post each with a face value of 200 pesos, about $4.50. Printing quantities were 10,000 for the sheet featuring St. John Paul II and 5,000 of the St. John XIII sheet.
A new stamp from Croatia marks the canonization of St. John Paul II. Another of similar design depicts St. John XXIII.
Croatia issued single stamps for both men and Liechtenstein’s single-stamp souvenir sheet commemorates only St. John Paul, who visited the small Alpine nation in 1985.
The Vatican and other nations have joined the commemoration parade by minting coins depicting the new stains. The Vatican’s issues include 50-euro gold and 15-euro silver coins.
The treasury of the government of Niue minted a rectangular triptych coin honoring St. John Paul.
Elsewhere, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued $25 gold and $10 silver coins honoring St. John Paul while Poland has minted a series of four coins depicting its Polish son. Perhaps the most unusual release comes from the treasury of the island nation of Niue with its colorful rectangular triptych coin. It has a face value of $20 New Zealand, about US$17.
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