The Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico Governatorato della Città del Vaticano — Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State, Holy See, has issued (18th June) its 2020-dated commemorative €2 coins, this year honouring and remembering the centenary anniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul II.
Born as Karol Wojtyla on the 18th May 1920 in Wadowice, Poland, his youth (like many of his generation) was marked by the outbreak of World War II on the 1st September 1939. German forces invaded Poland on that day and eventually occupied the country until the end of the conflict in May 1945. Shortly after the war, Karol Wojtyła was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1946 and in 1958 he was appointed bishop. In 1964 Karol Wojtyła was appointed the Archbishop of Cracow by Pope Paul VI, and in 1967 he became a Prince of the Church, Karol, Cardinal Wojtyła. In 1978, the beloved Paul VI died on the 6th August and was succeeded by Albino Cardinal Luciani (1912–1978) who was elected head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Holy See on 26th August. In what was a great surprise to the world, the man who took the name Pope John Paul in honour of the two preceding pontiffs, died just 33 days later on the 28th September. The College of Cardinals assembled once more, twice within two months, and elected Cardinal Wojtyła on the third day of the conclave on the 16th October. As a tribute to his predecessor, Cardinal Wojtyła adopted his name in tribute.
The coins are produced by the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS) at their facilities in Rome, on behalf of the Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico Governatorato della Città del Vaticano. The obverse side, which is designed by Gabriela Titotto, depicts a front-facing portrait of the late Holy Father as he was so familiarly remembered by the world’s faithful. Also depicted is both the Cathedral of Wadowice (the Minor Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) where John Paul II was baptized and to the right of the cathedral is an image of the house where he was born. The architectural complex is crowned by an eight-pointed star, a symbol of the Virgin Mary, to whom John Paul II was very devoted and dedicated his pontificate. The same star also represents the Sun, partially covered by an eclipse. It is noteworthy to mention that on both on the day John Paul II’s birth and on the day of his funeral, a solar eclipse occurred, a truly extraordinary and once-in-a-lifetime astronomical coincidence. The laurel branch seen beneath the Pope’s image is in reference to the glory of the saints and to victory. In early Christian art, the laurel wreath surrounded the “Chrismon,” the Greek monogram for Christ. The text PAPA GIOVANNI PAOLO II is placed above and to the left of the primary design and the years 1920 – 2020 are seen just to the right of the Pope’s likeness. Further text CITTA DEL VATICANO is placed under the overall design. The design is surrounded by 12 stars, representing the European Union.
The reverse side is that of the standard eurozone design for the two-euro coins, the numeral 2 superimposed over a map depicting Europe created by artist Luc Luycx.
|Two euro||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||FDC||65,000|
|Two euro||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||Proof||9,000|
The FDC version of the commemorative €2 coins is presented in a moiré-effect lined cardholder and is accompanied by information about the coin.
The Proof versions are encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For further information, please contact the Customer Care or visit the website of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State.