This series of stamps aim s to tell the people all over the world about the history of Portugal. The last series of eight cathedrals is now concluded, totaling 26 stamps. This stamp collection evokes over more than eight centuries of the history of Portugal.
The first cathedral pictured is the Sé Patriarcal de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral), whose construction started in 1147, shortly after the conquest of the city by king Afonso Henriques. The final and most recent one, inaugurated/dedicated already in the 21st century, in 2001, is that of Bragança, in the north-eastern region of Trás-os-Montes.
The other cathedrals depicted on these stamps are: the Cathedral of Évora (the Basilica of Our Lady of Assunção), started in 1186; the Cathedral of Setúbal (Santa Maria da Graça), from the thirteenth century; the ancient Cathedral of Bragança, completed in 1561, which was the church of the Jesuit College; the Cathedral of Miranda do Douro, started in 1552, with the city being elevated to episcopal see in 1545; the Cathedral of Beja (São Tiago Church), from the sixteenth century; and the Cathedral of Elvas (Church of Our Lady of Assunção), also from the sixteenth century.
The word cathedral comes from ‘cathedra’, where the Bishop exercises his mission of teaching according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There he receives and assembles the congregation, in the mother church of the diocese, as the Good Shepherd. As already stated by St. Ignatius of Antioch, in the early second century, “where the Bishop is, so must be the community; just as where Jesus Christ is, so should be the Catholic Church”. The Cathedral is the diocese’s ‘meeting point’ for the people of God and its bishop.