Blessed John Henry Newman and Westminster Abbey Depicted on Vatican Stamp
A special Vatican City postage stamp depicting Blessed John Henry Newman and Westminster Abbey is included in an engaging set issued to mark the Apostolic Journeys made by Pope Benedict XVI during 2010.
The Union Jack is also included in the bottom left-hand corner of the Euro 1,60 value in the set of five stamps released on 18 November 2011.
Pope Benedict XVI made five Apostolic Journeys outside Italy during 2010. The fourth being the remarkable historic State Visit to the United Kingdom, the first by a Pope, 16-19 September.
The exterior of Westminster Abbey, shown on the Vatican City stamp, is steeped in more than a thousand years of British history. Benedictine monks first settled on the site in the middle of the 10th century and the monastery of St Peter established.
Pope Benedict took part in Evening Prayer in Westminster Abbey together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, on Friday, 17 September 2010.
One of the highlights and the purpose of this particular Apostolic Journey made by Pope Benedict XVI was the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman which took place during a special Mass in Cofton Park, Birmingham, on Sunday, 19 September 2010.
Blessed John Henry Newman 1801-1890, a former Oxford don and Anglican priest, was received into the Catholic Church at Littlemore, near Oxford, on 9 October 1845. He moved into his newly built Oratory House in Edgbaston during February 1852. He was created a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, and died in his room in Birmingham on Monday, 11 August 1890, aged 89.
The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said: “The Papal Visit to the UK remains a moment of great importance and a vivid memory. This stamp helps many people to reflect further on the role of faith today.”
Archbishop Nichols added: “The depiction of Blessed John Henry Newman alongside Pope Benedict XVI signals an affinity of mind and an encouragement in our study and proclamation of our faith.”
Cardinal Newman was first depicted on a stamp issued by the Republic of Ireland in July 1954. This was followed by Jersey in September 1983. Isle of Man Stamp & Coins issued a special miniature sheet on 11 August 2010, to mark the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI and the Beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman.
For the record the other Apostolic Journeys of Pope Benedict XVI during 2011 were to Malta in April for the 1950th anniversary of shipwreck of Paul of Tarsus; to Portugal in May; to Cyprus in June; to Spain in November.