Pope’s visit and World Meeting of Families gets stamp of approval

Stamps on religious topics ‘always really popular with those attending events’


Strong interest from stamp collectors and others is expected in two stamps issued to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families gathering.

More than 450,000 €1 stamps showing the Pope, and 103,000 €1.50 international stamps, showing a family walking along a beach, will be issued, according to An Post’s Angus Laverty.

First-day covers costing €3.50 will be available on envelopes with special franking marks, and in souvenir packs at main post offices and online: “We’re already getting calls from customers,” he said.

“Stamps on religious topics are always really popular with those attending events and looking for good-value, easy to carry souvenirs for family and friends, and that can be carried easily in hand luggage,” he said.

More than 350,000 stamps issued to mark Ireland’s hosting of the Eucharistic Congress in 2012 were sold: “Half were used for posting special postcards at the time while the others were purchased as treasured souvenirs,” he said.

Stamps issued by An Post commemorating St Padre Pio, Mother Teresa and the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association have proved popular with philatelists and “the faithful alike”, he said.

In a tweet, the Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin urged his flock to mark the World Meeting of Families: “Why not post a card and prayer to faraway family members with the new stamps? Well done @Postvox (An Post).”

The ninth World Meeting of Families pastoral congress in Dublin takes place at the RDS from August 22nd to 24th. A Festival of Families is at Croke Park on August 25th.

All 500,000 tickets for the Mass, as well as the 45,000 tickets for Knock, and the 75,000 (approx) for Croke Park are booked out, as are 37,000 tickets for the pastoral congress in the RDS.