2020 Stamp Programme
To Be Announced
Vatican City, officially Vatican City State (Stato della Città del Vaticano in Italian and Status Civitatis Vaticanae in Latin), is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from, yet under “full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction” of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes in Latin). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about one thousand, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.
The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.
The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholic Christians around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence on 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.
Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.
The Vatican’s post office was established on the 11th February 1929 and it has continued to offer its own postal services ever since then. The first equipment the post office used was donated by the Italian government. First, the Vatican’s post office services were only provided within the Vatican City. But the services expanded and it became possible to start sending mail throughout Rome after the Vatican City had became a member of the Universal Postal Union on 1 June 1929 and signed a postal agreement with Italy on the 29th of July of the same year. The official stamps of Vatican City are produced under the authority of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State. Poste Vaticane is responsible for the postal service in the Vatican City and is part of the Post and Telegraphy Service. It operates four branch offices.