Poste Vaticane | Philatelic Stamps | Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office

Vatican City

10 November 2020

Christmas 2020 — Bethlehem Peace Light

joint issue with Austria

Vatican City – Christmas 2020, Bethlehem Peace Light, 10 November 2020. Images from Poste Vaticane, Commercializzazione Filatelica e Numismatica and Delcampe.

Technical Specifications:

Sheet Artist: Kirsten Lubach
Printing House: Royal John Enschedé Stamps BV (Netherlands)
Face values series: € 1.10 – €1.15
Stamp format: 30 x 40 mm
Sheet from: 10 pieces – Sheet size: 180 x 100 mm
Print: offset 5 colors (CMYK + gold)
Price of the series: € 2.25
Edition: 130,000 complete series
Leaflet Face values: € 1.10 – € 1.15 Format: 34.5 x 50 mm
Leaf size: 110 x 95 mm
Print: offset 6 colors (CMYK + gold + silver)
Price of the leaflet : Euro 2.25
Edition: 55,000 leaflets
Booklet Number of values: 4
Face values € 1.10 – € 1.15
Stamp format: 30 x 40 mm
Booklet size: 100 x 200 mm (open)
Print: offset 6 colors (CMYK + gold + silver)
Book price: € 4.50
Edition: 26,000 booklets

The Bethlehem Peace Light is the inspirational theme of the Vatican postage stamp issue dedicated to Christmas 2020, including, in addition to the traditional postage stamps and booklet, a miniature sheet in joint issue with Austria. At the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem there is an oil lamp that has burned perpetually for many centuries, fueled by oil donated in turn by all the Christian nations of the world. Every year in December, just before Christmas, a child selected from among the Austrian scout groups noted for particular commitment to social outreach, draws from that flame the light that will be spread throughout the globe as a symbol of peace and fellowship among peoples, placing it near the nativity scenes of families and churches. This tradition began in 1986 as part of the Christmas charity initiative “Licht ins Dunkel” – Light in the Darkness – organized by the Austrian radio and television broadcaster ORF of Linz and aimed at collecting spontaneous donations to support children with disabilities, the socially marginalized, as well as foreigners needing assistance. The stamps that make up both the joint miniature sheet and the Vatican series and booklet portray on the 1.15 value the Baby Jesus in the foreground over the star of Bethlehem and the Christkindl Shrine of Steyer, Austria, in the background. The 1,10 stamp shows the Holy Father holding the lantern of Light from Bethlehem and St. Peter’s Basilica in the background.

Miniature Sheet:


First Day Cover:

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