THE APOSTOLIC JOURNEYS OF POPE FRANCIS – 2015

THE APOSTOLIC JOURNEYS OF POPE FRANCIS – 2015  

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will mark the annual postage stamp issue dedicated to the papal journeys with a minisheet of the value of 4.00 euro. In January Pope Francis travelled to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, journeys remembered for the proclamation of the first local saint, Blessed Joseph Vaz, and for the concluding Mass in Manila with seven million faithful participating. In June the Pope visited Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, noting in his homily that it is a place which has advanced "from a culture of conflict and war to a culture of encounter". The apostolic journey in July to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay had a common theme on the joy of proclaiming the Gospel. The Pope marked the eight-day journey with numerous events, meeting many people. Also rich in meaning was his September journey to Cuba and the United States, which concluded with with the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Pope Francis referred to the historic warming of relations between the two nations as "a bridge that thanks be to God is being rebuilt". Finally, in November, he travelled to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic with a highlight being the opening of the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Bangui as part of the celebrations to mark the start of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The postage stamp minisheet produced by the Philatelic Office depicts a closeup of Pope Francis with a background of various continents, the names of the nations he visited in 2015, and each characterized by the colors of the national flag.