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Vatican Christmas Stamps

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The image chosen for the Christmas stamp series and booklet shows a work by Renaissance painter Francesco Melanzio, "Madonna and Child enthroned with two Angels and Saints Joachim and Anne".

The painting may have been initially placed in the sacristy of the Church of San Francesco a Montefalco in the province of Perugia. It was most likely brought to the Vatican after Napoleon's expropriation and placed in the Church of San Salvatore in Ossibus (today San Pietro in Borgo).

The painting dates from 1516 and reflects the influences of Pinturicchio and Perugino. It was restored by the Painting Restoration Laboratory of the Vatican Museums and then placed above the main altar of the Governorate Chapel of Vatican City. When the Holy Father visited the Governor's Palace on 31 May 2007, the altarpiece was blessed and the Chapel was named Mary Mother of the Family.

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