.- The Philippine Postal Corporation, in collaboration with the Holy See, has released a commemorative postage stamp celebrating the pontificate of Pope Francis.
“The stamp will make this event memorable and will serve as a historical patrimony for the generations to come,” Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason told CNA March 21.
“The postage stamp is an effort of the Filipino people to, in some way, materialize our thanksgiving to God for giving us Pope Francis and to ask him to continue to bless the Pope and guide him in his task.”
The stamp features a smiling image of Pope Francis and the words “Pope Francis year II - 2014.” The Philippine Postal Corporation released the stamp March 19, while the Vatican Postal administration issued a similar one March 21.
Tuason said that “any memorabilia that has the Holy Father on it has the ability to warm hearts and connect people.”
She hopes this stamp will do just that, by reminding Filipinos that the “true treasure that we have is our faith, our belonging to the Catholic Church.”
The Philippine Postal Corporation has printed 90,000 of the commemorative stamps so far.
“Featuring Pope Francis is relevantly significant to the Filipinos and it’s opportune to honor his service at the commencement of his second year of his pontificate,” said Philippine Postal Corporation and philatelic department head, Elenita San Diego.
“A large number of the Filipino population is also Catholic and we are interested in the Holy Father.”
San Diego confirmed that the Postmaster General Josie de la Cruz would present a souvenir frame containing the stamps to the Vatican during her official visit there next month.
She added that there has been such an interest and demand both locally and internationally in the stamp that the Philippine Postal Corporation may release a second series.
The Philippine Postal Corporation also plans to release a stamp commemorating the April 27 canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II.