VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Vatican City, like Italy and the Republic of San Marino, is preparing to adopt the euro on Jan. 1, no longer using the “Vatican lira” that´s been around for six pontificates.
The papal state has just issued its last lire — eight coins of 26,000 issues each, coined according to a model created by Italian artist Laura Cretara.
The coins bear the effigies of the six Popes who reigned during the time the Vatican lira was issued. The Pontiffs are Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II.
One of the coins bears the image of Pius IX, the last Pope with executive authority in the Papal States. The eighth coin, in silver, and worth 1,000 lire, points to the future and the new stage of cooperation in Europe, symbolized in the adoption of a common currency.
The Vatican lira came into circulation following the Lateran Pacts of 1929, signed by the Vatican and Italy.
The concordat sealed the official recognition of the loss of the Papal States and established the indemnification of the Church for the confiscation of its properties. It also brought Vatican City State into the Italian monetary zone.