Poland has done it again by winning – for the third time in recent years – the most prestigious award for best religious stamp: the St. Gabriel International Award. The 2015 awards ceremony was held on 29 September at Legnago's Fioroni Museum.
StampNews.com congratulates Polish Post with this great philatelic achievement.
In 2011 the beatification of Pope John Paul II was philatelically celebrated by a joint issue of Poland and the Vatican; needless to say, the same happened in 2014 for the canonization of Pope Karol Wojtyła. In both cases the stamp design was secured by Poland and placed in the hands of a highly skilled stamp designer Marzanna Dabrowska who successfully completed the projects together with her husband Jacek Dabrowscy.
The four-hand design for the 2011 issue won the St. Gabriel Award and now the same feat has been repeated for the 2014 design celebrating the elevation to sainthood of the highly popular Polish Pope. In 2010 Marzanna won her first St. Gabriel Award with the Polish stamp remembering the 25th Anniversary of the death of martyr and patriot Father Jerzy Popiełuszko.As always, at this international award "competition was overwhelming as more than one hundred stamp issues from around the world were selected as nominees. I believe that the central figure of the Polish stamps and the simplicity and explicitness of the design influenced the outcome", Marzanna said.
Far from being an expected ornament, the aureole of St. John Paul II is a major element of the stamp design as it is a greatly inspirational element consisting of seven rings with historic quotes from Pope John Paul II. Interestingly enough, the aureole on the Polish miniature sheet has an additional quote not appearing on the Vatican counterpart.
The St. Gabriel International Award for Best Religious Stamp was established in 1969 in Verona and is named after "the Lord's postman" – St. Gabriel. Legnago (not to be confused with Legnano) is the birthplace of the famous composer Antonio Salieri.