1950th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINT PETER AND SAINT PAUL

1950th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINT PETER AND SAINT PAUL  

In 67 AD Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome. Peter was crucified upside down and Paul decapitated, a distinction reserved to Roman citizens condemned to death. This year marks the 1,950th anniversary of the martyrdom of the two Saints on whose faith, Pope Francis reminds us, "was founded the Church of Rome, which has always venerated them as Patrons. They proclaimed and witnessed to the Gospel among the people, and with their martyrdom they sealed their mission of faith and charity". The postage stamp series realized by Daniela Fusco is composed of two values depicting two beautiful closeups of the Apostles, accompanied with some of the symbols traditionally representing them. The € 0.95 euro postage stamp features an image of St. Peter framed with two parallel keys at the bottom, a direct reference to the words, "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 16:19). One of the keys faces the bottom and bears the coat of arms of the Holy See, while the other points upwards and displays an upside down cross alluding to the Saint’s martyrdom. The image of the cock that recalls the triple denial of Christ by Peter, symbolizing the human fragility of the Apostle and God’s mercy. The € 1 euro stamp features the profile of St. Paul with two symbols that have always characterized him in iconography: the book and the sword. The book symbolizes his numerous letters to the Christian communities by which he received the title "the Apostle to the Gentiles". The sword recalls his role as a persecutor of Christians before his conversion, as well as his martyrdom. It is also the "sword of the spirit" and represents the strength of Faith.