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Jubilee Year of Mercy Commemorative Coin

On January 4, 2016, the official medal of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy was released in Vatican. As I travelled in Italy and Vatican in September of 2016, I added to my collection a silver medal of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year with a serial number 1875/3000.

Medal of Extraordinary Jubile Year of Mercy. Reverse. From my private collection

Medal of Extraordinary Jubile Year of Mercy. Reverse. From my private collection

The commemorative sign, 44 millimetres in diameter, weighing 40 gr., contains symbols and phrases, that have fundamental significance for the life of every Christian. They remind of the deep meaning, which Pope Francis wished to give to the extraordinary Holy Year – of the boundless mercy of our God, who forgives His children.

Medal of Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Obverse. From my private collection.

Medal of Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Obverse. From my private collection.

On the medal’s obverse, which was designed by 33-year old Italian artist Mariangela Crisciotti, there is the coat of arms of Pope Francis, encircled by an inscription in Latin «Iubilaeum Extraordinarium Misericordiae» («Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy”). Around the edge one can read the phrase «E Civitate Vaticana» («From the City of Vatican») with the individual serial number of the coin.

On the reverse there is a detail of the famous painting by Rembrandt The Return of the Prodigal Son, inspired by the parable about the merciful Father from the Gospel according to Saint Luke. The painting is kept at State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

Fragment of the painting by Rembrandt The Return of the Prodigal Son. Hermitage. Saint Petersburg.

Fragment of the painting by Rembrandt The Return of the Prodigal Son. Hermitage. Saint Petersburg.

One detail of the engraving is especially noteworthy: on the son’s shoulders one hand of the Father looks like that of a male, while the other one – like a hand of a female. This means, that the forgiveness is granted by God the Father, but it is realized through the ministry of the Church.

The image is encircled by the writing «In Aeternum Misericordiae Eius» («His mercy endures forever”»). This phrase is repeated at the end of every line in Psalm 136. Pope Francis quoted it three times in His Bull of Indiction Misericordiae Vultus, which announced the Jubilee Year.

The medal’s circulation is limited. In total, one hundred gold medals were minted and three thousand silver and bronze medals each, as well as two hundred triptychs, that is sets with gold, silver, and bronze medals. Each medal is accompanied by a guarantee certificate with embossed seals of the Vatican Secretariat of State and the Italian State Mint.

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