US Postal Service introduces Holy Family stamp for Christmas

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The 2012 Holy Family stamp. Credit: U.S. Postal Service.

A new forever stamp displaying an image of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt has been issued by the U.S. Postal Service for this Christmas season.

“We are proud that this stamp will decorate millions of greeting cards, letters and packages this year,” said Louis J. Giuliano, a member of the U.S. Postal Service board of governors.

On Oct. 10, the U.S. Postal Service released a forever stamp showing the Holy Family fleeing into Egypt after Joseph was warned in a dream that King Herod was seeking to kill the baby Jesus.

The image was designed by artist Nancy Stahl, designer Greg Breeding and art director William Gicker. It depicts a desert scene at dusk, with a donkey being led by Joseph while carrying Mary and the baby Jesus. The Holy Family is being guided by a bright star in the sky.

“To me, this beautiful piece of contemporary art is an important part of the joyful and miraculous story of hope and salvation that we celebrate each Christmas season,” said Giuliano.
 
The new stamp was unveiled in a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral, in the Bethlehem Chapel, which is home to the Epiphany stained glass window that was depicted on the 1980 Christmas stamp.

Rev. Gary R. Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, said that “(t)he story of this new family forced to leave their home reminds us in the Christmas season to bring comfort and joy to those who are marginalized by our society—the poor, the elderly, the immigrant, and the refugee.”

“This beautiful depiction of the Holy Family embarking for an unknown land also reminds us that we are in God’s hands and we trust in God to guide our journey,” he added.
 
Giuliano said that Christmas stamps contribute to a celebration of the holiday season.

“Cards may carry seasonal messages inside but season’s greetings really begin on the outside - with stamps,” he said.

He explained that the U.S. Postal Service is expecting approximately 17 billion cards, packages and letters to be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

“Christmas is only 75 days away,” he said, adding that “the United States Postal Service is counting down.”

The Holy Family forever stamp is available at post offices, online or by phone.

Giuliano said that holiday stamps have been popular since Christmas-themed stamps were first issued half a century ago.

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