Vatican stamps feature manuscript painting of Holy Family

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The Vatican's 2015 Christmas stamps feature a manuscript illumination of the Holy Family by an unknown artist from the 15th century. The image is from the Codices Urbinates Latini 239 (1477-1478) at the Vatican Library. (CNS photo/courtesy Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office)
The Vatican’s 2015 Christmas stamps feature a manuscript illumination of the Holy Family by an unknown artist from the 15th century. The image is from the Codices Urbinates Latini 239 (1477-1478) at the Vatican Library. (CNS photo/courtesy Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — This year’s Vatican Christmas stamps feature a 15th-century manuscript illumination of the Holy Family.

Flanked by a lowing ox and a donkey, Mary and Joseph pray over baby Jesus as angels sing above and poor shepherds approach.

The image, painted by an unknown artist, is from the Codices Urbinates Latini 239 (1477-1478) from the Vatican Library.

The special edition stamps went on sale Nov. 19 in two denominations of 80 euro cents and 95 euro cents in sheets of 10. The Vatican post office and Philatelic and Numismatic Office also offer a collector’s booklet containing four 95 euro-cent stamps and commemorative cover for 3.80 euro.

All order requests should be made by email to: order.ufn@scv.va. The Vatican stamp office will then send a proper order form and methods of payment.

By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service.

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Editor’s Note:

Special stamps celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, are also available. One design features Pope Francis. The other features Pope Pius XI, who provided the observatory’s current location.

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