Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei
The Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei introduces the new theme for the 20 and 50 euro gold coins that starting this year and for the following two years will be dedicated to the papal basilicas of Pompei, Padua and Loreto. The history of the Shrine of Pompei began with Blessed Bartolo Longo who, in addition to dedicating his life to serving the poor, also instituted a collection to go towards building the first structure for a future Basilica of Pompei. Each year over four million faithful visit the Shrine, especially on May 8th and the first Sunday of October when tens of thousands gather for the recitation of the Prayer to Our Lady of Pompei written by Blessed Bartolo Longo himself. The 20 euro gold coin features a depiction of the Holy Father greeting the faithful and a detail from a painting found in Pompei where the Blessed Mother and Christ Child crowned with an aura of stars place the crown of the Holy Rosary on Saints Dominic and Catherine of Siena. The 50 euro gold coin shows an image of the Holy Father on his knees absorbed in prayer holding a rosary. The reverse side displays instead a stylized view of the impressive architecture featured in this coin issue.