Connecting Popes Through History
This alluring issue from the Gambia pictures the Popes of the Millennium. What makes this
issue very special is that it pictures Pope Gregory XII, the last pope to resign from his position
until last week when Pope Benedict XVI did the same. This engraving of Pope Gregory XII
highlights the fascinating jewels and headdresses worn by popes. Pope Gregory XII resigned in
1415 to heal the fractured religious instructions of the time, marking a point in history.
Known in history as the Great Schism, Pope Gregory XII became pope under difficult conditions,
when the papal was split into two sectors. Pope Gregory XII agreed to resign when the rival Papal
of Avignon renounced his title too. Therefore instead of having two rival popes, there would only be
one new Pope.
In recent headlines, the Vatican and the world were shocked to learn on February 11, 2013 that Pope
Benedict XVI is abdicating his position. The last pope to renounce this job was over 600 years ago.
Pope Benedict XVI was known for speaking about the issues of the time such as same-sex marriage
and birth control.
Only five popes have relinquished their position throughout history, mainly in the 11th-15th centuries.
We are living through history now seeing Pope Benedict XVI resign, since it may be another 600 years
before history is made again. Every collector should collect these issues to mark the history of the
The years 1415 and 2013 have few characteristics in common, but these men connect our history with
our ancestors and bring us together. Stay tuned for more!
The stamps were designed and are being distributed by the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp. (IGPC),
the United States-based leader in governmental philatelic services. Founded in 1957, IGPC is the world's
largest and most prestigious Philatelic agency representing more than 70 International Government Postage
agencies. IGPC's innovative designs and featured themes have helped to keep stamp collecting current and
maintain its exalted status as "The Hobby of Kings."
Find IGPC on the web:
CORDIALES SALUDOS / GOOD LUCK /
JUAN FRANCO CRESPO * STAMP JOURNALIST (AIPET)
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