PAPA FRANCESCO ANNO II

POPE FRANCIS YEAR II - MMXIV  

On 13 March 2013 at 8:23 pm Jorge Mario Bergoglio appeared at the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica; he had just been elected the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church choosing the name Francis. Looking back on the first year of his pontificate, one can better appreciate his first words when he addressed the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. His first greeting, “Brothers and sisters, good evening!”, was a clear sign of his simple and spontaneous manner which in a short time made him so popular and loved around the world. Pope Francis has not only offered a witness with his simple gestures expressing the love of God the Father towards his children, but he has also “set the Church in motion” to quote the words of his spokesman Father Lombardi. According to his intention, the drive for renewal must start from Rome and the Pope himself to then spread to the entire Church, reaching the poor and the peripheries of the whole world. During the fi rst year of his pontificate, Pope Francis often gave testimony to his special and personal commitment for world peace with prayer and fasting as, for example, for war-torn Syria. By recalling the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, he also taught us that a Christian must not only respect his fellow human being, but also all of God’s creation and the environment in which he lives. Particularly significant were his meetings with migrants and refugees in Lampedusa and with young people who welcomed him with great enthusiasm in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will celebrate the beginning of the second year of the pontificate of His Holiness Pope Francis with a postage stamp series consisting of four values depicting the Holy Father in some of the more significant moments of the first year of his pontificate which has just concluded.