In honor of our Holy Father, we are honoring the Apostle’s feast day as a tribute to Pope Francis.
The item presented here is a memento from the canonizations of John XXIII & John Paul II on the Second Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014.
This complete set of sedi vacante stamps contains one from each election with a picture of each pope and his coat of arms.
Sedi Vacante is a Latin term meaning the seat is open.
It indicates the time between the death of one pope and the election of the next pope.
Inside the card are the images of the saints with their coats of arms.
On the back of the card is the coat of arms of Pope Francis, and we are using the back of the card today in honor of the feast of St. Matthew and our Holy Father’s feelings for him.
The motto of Pope Francis is taken from a passage from the venerable Bede, Homily 22, on the Feast of Matthew, which reads: Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum, et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi, ‘Sequere me’. Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, “follow me.”
Francis, in an interview in 2013, spoke about his love of Caravaggio’s paintings, particularly *The Calling of Saint Matthew.” He did not know Rome well, and when in Rome he stayed close to a certain church:
I always stayed in [the neighborhood of] Via della Scrofa. From there I often visited the Church of St. Louis of France, and I went there to contemplate the painting of ‘The Calling of St. Matthew,’ by Caravaggio.
“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew.” Here the pope becomes determined, as if he had finally found the image he was looking for: “It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff.” Then the pope whispers in Latin: “I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.”