FDC Stamps of the Consistory of 5 March, 1973
We are featuring these FDC stamps, because they include the newly named cardinal, Albino Luciani, which set the stage for his 1978 participation in the conclave that elected him on August 26, 1978, a reign that lasted a mere 33 days.
FDC (First Day Cover) stamps were issued on March 5, 1973, commemorating the Consistory in which Pope Paul VI named Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I, Cardinal.
He was one of seven men so named in 1973, and he is pictured at the far left.
FDC is a term collectors use to designate a postage stamp on a cover, postal card or other stamped envelopes on the first day that the issue is authorized for use within the country or territory of the stamp-issuing authority.
The Vatican, of course, because it is a sovereign nation, produces its own stamps, and it is one of the most profitable sources of income for the Vatican due to the high demand for them by tourists.
This is a very nice item depicting the newly made Cardinal Albino Luciani.
News about the First Conclave of 1978:
Heat: It is important to remember that the cardinals who entered this conclave on August 25, 1978, constituted the largest electoral assembly since the early Church. The ferocious heat of summer made the gathering almost unbearable. Recall that, prior to the election of John Paul II and construction of a residency specifically designed for gatherings such as this, the heat of an August at the Vatican was truly and nearly unbearable. Their accommodations were so meager they shared showers, had to walk through each others’ rooms to get to their own and, thus, had limited privacy. Secrecy of ballots was also impossible, given their large number and the closeness of their actual seating arrangements during voting.
A 2/3 plus one majority was needed to elect a candidate–in other words, 75 votes. Blessed Paul VI had restored this practice in hopes of keeping factions from tearing the institution apart, and most likely, to inject energy into a group grown tired along with their aging Pontiff. A number of informal caucuses occurred before the start of conclave often based on their linguistic similarities.–Heirs of the Fisherman by John-Peter Pham
And so, within twenty-four hours, the cardinals would elect the man Italians call, Il Sorriso di Dio: God’s Smile.