Papal History and Suggested Topics

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40 lire Burying the Dead single

One of the many roles of the pope is to approve stamps subjects. Each pontiff has his own unique characteristics that separate him from the others. These can be reflected through the stamps of his time. Popes use stamps to illustrate their beliefs, priorities, and actions. Studying papal history allows students to better understand world events and religious studies as well as the role of popes.

Suggested topics:

  • Explain the role of the pope through stamps. Examples: Pius XII was known for … John Paul II was known for…
  • Popes from history have been commemorated in stamps such as the one of Pope Leo and Attila the Hun. What is the story behind Pope Leo? What was his religious and historical achievement? Why did another pope choose that story to be put on a stamp?
  • Choose three stamps that best reflect a certain pope’s interests or achievements and explain your evidence.
  • Create a collection with stamps that reflects world events through history.
  • Choose stamps that represent scientific advancements. Why do you think the pope at that time decided to portray those advancements through stamps, such as the stamps of Father Secchi's astronomical instruments released in 1979?