The Vatican post office said it will issue a special stamp honoring Pope John Paul II, who died Saturday. The stamp can only be used until a new pope is elected.
According to tradition, the "vacant See" stamp will carry an image of two crossed keys but no papal headgear. The traditional image on Vatican stamps issued while a pope is alive has the keys and the headgear.
The stamps are valid for the so-called "interregnum," the timespan that begins with the death of the pope and ends when a new one is elected, but other Vatican stamps also will be valid in that period.
The last time the Vatican post office issued vacant seat stamps was 1978, when John Paul I died.