Sunday, March 31, 2013

A nice surprise from Vatican City!

I had the chance to visit the Vatican City back in Dec 2006 but sad to say I missed the opportunity to visit the Vatican post office to send a cover or postcard back home. A small regret till I received this Vatican City cover, courtesy of Francois Leboucher. Merci!!
The beautiful stamps, a joint issue with France were issued on 11 May 2012 to commemorate the '600th Anniversary  of the birth of St. Joan of Arc', the brave peasant girl from the French countryside who in 1429 lifted the English siege of Orleans, walloped the enemy army and led her king to be crowned at Reims.

Some interesting facts about Vatican post office
1. The Vatican has operated its own postal service and issued its own postage stamps since 1929. 
2. According to the Universal Postal Union, the Vatican post office is "one of the best postal systems in the world" and "more letters are sent each year, per inhabitant, from the Vatican's 00120 postal code than from anywhere else in the world." 
3. Much, but by no means all, of the mail handled by the Vatican is from tourists or official congregations of the Roman Curia. Many Romans, distrustful of the unreliable Italian post office, make weekly trips to the Vatican just to post their important letters. Italian stamps may not be used on Vatican mail nor vice versa.

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