50 Years of Aerogram
The aerogramme celebrates the 50th Anniversary this year of the Italian Philatelic Press Union (Unione Stampa Filatelica Italiana – USFI), the association of professional journalists, writers and publishers committed to promoting interest in stamp collecting and contributing to development and renewal in the field of philately. On the left side of the aerogramme a painting from the 18th century is reproduced showing Saint Francis de Sales, patron of journalists and Catholic writers. The imprint of the value on the right shows the inkwell and quill, symbols which clearly recall the activity of a writer.
The postage stamp issue celebrating this theme consists of a miniature sheet of six values of .95 euro cents featuring the original stamp design, while the side margins show some stylized elements from it. Also featured in the layout is an artistically rendered detail of the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Jubilee of Mercy Clothe the Naked Shelter the Homeless
The first value of the postage stamp series, produced by French artist David Maraskin, depicts a group of adults and a child in a city context where they are donating clothing to a newborn and an adult who, naked and shivering, is seeking shelter under a tent. Nakedness is understood as both a lack of clothing and the impossibility of being present with others in a dignified way, which underscores how important it is to donate clothing. At the same time there exists another type of nakedness due to poverty and the lack of a roof over one’s head, a welcoming place which makes us feel at home. The precarious reality of living in a tent offers a visual and symbolic introduction to the next illustration where a young couple warmly opens the doors of their own home to a needy family, thereby offering hospitality and shelter. The Gospel of Matthew also teaches us that every act of mercy towards a person in need is an act of mercy for the Lord himself: “Then the king will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.