This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Corps of Harbour Masters and Coast Guard, a corps of the Italian Navy whose tasks and functions mainly concern civil use of the sea. The Coast Guard comes under the authority of various government ministries, but primarily the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, which in 1994 took over handling most matters related to commercial and recreational navigation. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will celebrate this anniversary with the issue of a special folder containing a postage stamp and label. The stamp commemorates the visit of Pope Francis to Lampedusa and Linosa in 2013, while the label shows a hand giving support to a migrant saved from the rough seas. The stamp and label are offered on an enveloppe with the special cancellation produced for the occasion. The background of the inside pages of the folder features views of the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica and a Coast Guard patrol boat escorting a vessel which ran adrift. In addition to the official logo, the outside pages show photos of Pope Saint John Paul II boarding the patrol boat “Michele Fiorillo” (Gaeta, 25 June 1989) and the meeting of Pope Francis with the Coast Guard General Commandant, Admiral Felicio Angrisano (Città del Vaticano, 17 February 2015). As an expression of our profound gratitude to all the men and women of the Italian Coast Guard, we echo these recent words of the Holy Father: “...I truly admire you, and I feel small compared to the work that you do risking your lives. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. At the same time, I offer you my support through my prayers, good wishes and affection”.
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THIS FOLDERS WILL BE DONATED TO POPE FRANCIS FOR CHARITY WORKS IN SUPPORT OF MIGRANTS.