EASTER 2010

EASTER 2010  

To mark the celebration of Easter 2010, the Philatelic Office has chosen a sarcophagus from the middle of the 4th century kept in the Pio-Christian Museum of the Vatican Museums. It is one of the most ancient Easter symbols which iconographers called precisely "anàstasis" (Greek for resurrection). The sarcophagus shows for the first time the Cross of Christ, together with the first two letters of his name in Greek ("PX"), crowned in glory and surrounded by doves, a symbol of the faithful. At the foot of the Cross are the soldiers in Matthew's Gospel desribed as shaken with fear and almost dead when confronted with news of the Resurrection. It represents a type of triumphal banner early Christians used to sum up the mystery of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, central to Christian faith. The postage stamp was produced through a special process with an engraved design.