Vatican Stamp to Help Haiti

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 26, 2010 ( The Vatican’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office will donate the proceeds of the next stamp it issues to Haiti, which was devastated earlier this month by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

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The stamp, which was already set to be released prior to the quake, will be dedicated to the 1,500th anniversary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace, more commonly known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Mentorella.

The shrine, located in the Prenestini mountains about 34 miles northeast of Vatican City, is a spot that both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI traveled to shortly after being elected Pope.

The shrine dates back to the time of Constantine the Great, and is one of the first Marian shrines in Italy. St. Benedict of Nursia founded the monastery a little over a century later.
The Vatican will print some 900,000 stamps valued at 65 euro cents (91 cents), and sell them at 85 euro cents ($1.19). The additional 20 euro cents (28 cents) will be donated directly to Haiti.

The Governorate of Vatican State estimates that, if the whole edition is sold, some €150,000 ($211,424) will be collected.

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