HUNGARY (2020)- Centenary of the Birth of Saint Pope John Paul II Sheet

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Magyar Posta is commemorating the centenary of the birth of Saint Pope John Paul II by issuing a souvenir sheet. The souvenir sheet, its special editions and the related philatelic products designed by the graphic artist Barnabás Baticzwere produced by ANY Security Printing Company.

Saint Pope John Paul II (born Karol Józef Wojtyła, Wadowice, 18 May 1920 – Rome, 2 April 2005) was the 264th head of the Catholic Church, the first pope not of Italian origin for 455 years, and the first who was from a Slavic people. Throughout his papacy, he promoted understanding between peoples and religions, and in this spirit apologised for the sins of the Church in the past. His doctrinal teaching was typified by conservatism, and his stance on human life and dignity. He made over 100 pastoral visits outside Italy, travelling further than all previous pontiffs. He beatified 1,338 people and canonised 428. He himself was canonised on 27 April 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday.

The stamp and frame of the souvenir sheet were designed using photographs taken on Pope John Paul II’s visit to Budapest in 1991. The stamp features the arrival of Pope John Paul II at Heroes’ Square, where he celebrated mass on Saint Stephen’s Day. The moment when the Holy Father blessed the infirmed and the elderly in Saint Stephen’s Basilica is captured in the frame of the souvenir sheet. The interior of the cupola of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is shown on the first day cover, and the commemorative postmark is a stylised drawing of the papal seal.

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