Vatican issues commemorative Reformation stamp

Postage stamp commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Photo: LWF

An encouraging step of the joint commitment to “walk the paths of communion”

(LWI) – The Vatican has issued a postage stamp to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

The series which goes into circulation today, 23 November, depicts the crucified Christ in the foreground. Kneeling at the foot of the cross are Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon, holding the Bible and the Augsburg Confession respectively. The background shows a timeless view of the city of Wittenberg, where Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in 1517, launching the Protestant Reformation.

The Vatican’s description of the stamp cites the Lund commemoration and the call by Pope Francis to remember the important event “with a renewed spirit and in the recognition that Christian unity is a priority, because we realize that much more unites us than separates us.”

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) welcomed the gesture by the Roman Catholic Church as “a wonderful expression of how far we have come together in our journey toward unity.”

Referring to the October 2016 Joint Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the Reformation in Lund, Sweden, the LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge said, “I believe this stamp speaks powerfully to reconciliation and the healing of memories between Catholics and Lutherans. We are today at a point where we receive each other gifts as we jointly confess Christ as our Lord and Savior.”

The Vatican will issue 120,000 of the Reformation stamps.