Special stamp for WYD 2023: the Pope leads young people towards the future

The special stamp for the WYD 2023 will be available from May 16
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(Press release of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State) -

During the closing mass of the World Youth Day in Panama, Cardinal Kevin J.Farrell announced that the designated city to welcome youth from around the world in 2022 would be Lisbon.

The global pandemic then caused the XXXVII World Youth Day to be postponed from 2022 to 2023. The motto chosen by the Pope for this meeting, which will take place Aug. 1-6 in the Portuguese capital, is "Mary arose and went with haste," taken from Luke's Gospel, Ch. 1:39.

It is intended to underline the importance of setting out on a journey of discernment, focusing on always being ready but never anxious. In the video message addressed to the youth in preparation for the meeting Pope Francis urges: “At this meeting, during this WYD, learn to always look towards the horizon, to always look beyond. Don't put up a wall in front of your life. Walls close you in, the horizon makes you grow. Always look at the horizon with your eyes, but look, above all, with your heart. Open your heart to other cultures, to other boys, to other girls, who are also at this World Youth Day”.

On the stamp, Pope Francis guides the youth and the Church, represented by Peter's boat, to the discovery of "this epochal change"

The Vatican postage stamp for the WYD 2023, designed by the artist Stefano Morri, is inspired by the Monument of the Discoveries, (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) which sits on the banks of the Tagus River in Lisbon's Belém district, built in 1960, five hundred years after the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, to celebrate the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Just as in the monument Prince Henry the Navigator guides the crew to the discovery of the new world, on the stamp, Pope Francis guides the youth and the Church, represented by Peter's boat, to the discovery of "this epochal change", as the Holy Father stated at the Ecclesial Convention in Florence, without quietly giving in to the habit of sailing by sight, to the point of removing the very reality of the port that awaits them.

On May 16 and 17, 2023, the post office called "Arco delle Campane" (Braccio di Carlo Magno) will use this special cancellation.

As an alternative, the cancellation of the stamped material, duly pre-stamped by the applicants with the stamp to which the cancellation refers, may be obtained from the Cancellation Sector of the Postal and Philatelic Service until June 17, 2023.



The stamp

Issue date: 16 May 2023

Face value: 3.10 Euros

Design: It represents Pope Francis on the bow of a boat, inspired by the caravel of the Monument of the Discoveries, as he guides the youth towards the future. On the upper left-hand corner there is a reproduction of the logo of the meeting, created by the young Portuguese designer, Beatriz Roque Antunez. This symbol also portrays - on the background of a large Cross - the dynamism of Mary visiting Elizabeth, according to the chosen motto of the event, "Mary got up and went with haste."

Designer: Stefano Morri

Printer: Bpost (Belgium)

Printing process: offset 4 colors

Paper: white, gummed, 110 gr/m²

Stamp size: 48 x 32 mm

Postage separation: 11 ½

Sheet size: 120 x 185 mm

Sheet of: 10 stamps

Quantity issued: 45,000 stamps


Design: a drawing that reproduces the official logo of the XXXVII WYD in Lisbon.

To complete the cancellation, there is the inscription «XXXVII GMG – LISBONA 2023 – DIE  EMISSIONIS 16.05.2023» and «POSTE VATICANE».

Format: round

Diameter: 38 mm

15 May 2023