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World Youth Day stamps and coins released

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Special stamps and coins commemorating the upcoming World Youth Day in Sydney have been released.

World Youth Day will be held in Sydney from July 15 to July 20 and will mark the first visit to Australia of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Catholic Church's gathering of young people, the biggest event in Sydney since the Olympics, is expected to attract 500,000 pilgrims from Australia and overseas.

The coins and stamps were presented to the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell at a ceremony at St Mary's Cathedral on Monday.

The limited mintage coins depict the Pope, the WYD08 logo and the inscription World Youth Day Sydney 2008 on the reverse.

The stamps, including one domestic stamp and two international stamps, also use imagery of the Pope.

The "quiet" design and colours of the stamp series convey a sense of spirituality and reverence.

The stamps will be in circulation from Tuesday at Australia Post outlets. Coins can be purchased from The Perth Mint, coin dealers and selected Australia Post outlets.

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