EUROPE 2012 - "VISIT..."

EUROPE 2012 - "VISIT..."  

"Visit..." is the theme chosen by PostEurop for this year’s European postal stamps issue. The choice of this wide-ranging theme gives members of the postal association full freedom in interpreting it, whether looking at topics such as travel for tourism or culture, among the many possibilities. The images chosen by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office for this stamp issue include the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, symbol of Christianity and destination of religious and cultural pilgrimage for millions of people. Another image is the dove in the window above the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, a masterful work by Bernini symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The theme of travel is important for its symbolic value, not as a type of visit for discovering and appreciating artistic beauty, but rather as an experience focusing above all on the spiritual dimension. A true journey is not so much that of a pilgrim going to a specific place of worship, but instead part of a an important path of self-awareness and personal reflection on one’s seeking the Lord. The journey of the faithful to the center of Christianity, to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, is itself an expression of the evangelization of peoples and the fulfillment of the Church’s universal mission.