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Tuesday, April 8, 2003


VATICAN CITY, APR 8, 2003 (VIS) - The Numismatic Office of Vatican City will issue a special series of Vatican Euro coins on April 10 to mark the 25th year of Pope John Paul's papacy. The eight coins (1 and 2 Euro coins and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Eurocents) will bear the year "2003" and the legend "The 25th year of the Pontificate of His Holiness John Paul II."

Euro coins, minted by individual countries, have a European theme on one side and a national image on the other side. For the Vatican coins, the national side has the profile of Pope John Paul, Sovereign of Vatican City State, the words "Citt… del Vaticano" (Vatican City) and 12 stars. Sculpted by Guido Veroi, 65,000 sets of the eight coins were minted and sell for Euro 15 per set.

A proof version set of the same eight coins, which includes a silver medal on the theme "Art interprets Art: Homage to Leonardo" will also go on sale on April 10 at a price of Euro 78. Both sets of coins come in silver holders (the proof version in a special box) to mark the 25th or Silver Anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate.

On March 20, the Vatican's Philatelic Office and Poland jointly issued 25 stamps, one for each year of the Holy Father's papacy. The first stamp for 1978 depicts the Pope on the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica as he appears to the world for the first time after his election. Remaining stamps commemorate highlights - travels, documents and other events - of his pontificate.

The Philatelic Office also, for the first time in its history, issued a silver postage stamp (silver title 925/1000), depicting Pope John Paul, the words "Citt… del Vaticano" and in the lower, left corner, the Pope's coat-of-arms.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 8, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

- Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, major pro-penitentiary.

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