Monday, December 24, 2012

1954 Marian Year

With over 80% of Philippine citizens claiming membership in the Roman Catholic church (2000 census), it is not surprising that stamps with Catholic themes have been issued by the Philippines Bureau of Posts. The first Catholic-related stamp of the Third Republic was issued in 1954.

Pope Pius XII had declared 1954 to be a "Marian Year", a year in which  cultural events, charity, and social gatherings would celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus. Activities in the Philippines included a Marian Congress which was held from December 1 to December 5, 1954 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the belief that the soul of the Virgin Mary was created sinless by God. At the closing ceremonies of the Marian Congress on December 5, 1954, President Magsaysay consecrated the Republic of the Philippines to Mary,"the Immaculate Mother of God".


A single 5c stamp based on the Bartolomé Esteban Murillo painting The Immaculate Conception of Aranjuez (La Inmaculada Concepción de Aranjuez) c.1675-80 and engraved by the American Bank Note Company was issued on December 30, 1954.

First Day of Issue Cachet

First Day Covers

Filipino devotion to Mary is reflected by the large number of different cachets produced to commemorate Marian Year.

Madonnas of the Philippines by Filipino Artists

Unpainted and Painted

Unpainted and Painted

Maximum Card


(Not in author's collection)