New Stamps from Slovakia

St. Valentine’s Day Stamp

slovakia valentines day stampsTaking into account the postage stamp was designed in the form of an illustrated QR code with a link to a video clip about love. The QR (Quick Response) code was originally developed by the Japanese company Denso-Wave in 1994 to monitor manufacturing processes in the automobile industry. As the company published code specification without claiming patent protection, the QR code became freely available to different types of both commercial and non-commercial activities all over the world.

The principle of QR code usage is based on reading a code via a mobile device by means of freely downloadable software (QR code reader) designed to decode text information included in a code, which takes the form, for example, of a web address. However, a QR code on a postage stamp is not a novelty of the world. Two Valentine postage stamps with QR codes and individual perforations in the shape of a heart were issued by Taiwan in 2011 with the text messages “Happy Valentine’s Day” and “I Love You!”.

Štefan Pilárik

slovak stampŠtefan Pilárik was an Evangelic priest, remarkable poet and prose-writer of the Baroque period. He lived in turbulent times of confessional disputes, Ottoman attacks and anti-Habsburg moods. Contemporary social events and the dramatic fate of authors were also reflected in his works.

The most significant work from the literary perspective is his epic and reflective poem Sors Pilarikiana – Osud Pilárika Štefana (“Sors Pilarikiana – The Fate of Pilárik Štefan”), which was published in slovakised Czech in Žilina in 1666. The author reflected on his experience from 1663, when he was subjected to two months of Ottoman imprisonment. In this poetic and mystical prose, he depicted reality under the influence of his confessional conviction.

The author’s thinking and his life on the basis of contemporary Church history was manifested in another autobiography Currus Jehovae mirabilis (“Miraculous God’s Chariot”, Wittenberg 1678). In a hundred-page work, he confronted the reality of life with religious and mystical thinking, offering readers his preaching, religious and educational ideas. The only authentic portrait of Štefan Pilárik has been preserved in this book.

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