Philatelist Alert: Vatican Issues Stamps for the Interregnum

Stamp collectors will need to act quickly if they want to get their hands on these:  The Vatican has just issued a set of four stamps for use during the “Sede Vacante” (when the See is Vacant), that period between the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of a new pope.The interregnum stamps, according to Vatican sources, include the symbol of the Vacant See, a striped umbrella (umbraculum) over crossed keys.  They can be used only until a new pope is elected in next month’s Concl … [Read more...]

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A Coat of Arms for the Interregnum

Have you ever seen this?Probably not—This is the coat of arms of the Holy See during the Interregnum, that period after a pope leaves office until a new pontiff is elected by the College of Cardinals.  It is also known as the Sede Vacante period, that time when the Seat (the Chair of Peter, that is) is Vacant.Instead of the papal tiara over the keys, as is customary for the Holy See and the Vatican City State, the tiara is replaced with the umbraculum (ombrellino, in Italian). This sy … [Read more...]

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