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CHRISTMAS 2008

craciun2008_M„I announce to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: For today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.“ (Luke’s Gospel, 2, 10–11) „I announce to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: For today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.“ (Luke’s Gospel, 2, 10–11)

As every year, on the occasion of the winter holidays, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamps issue „Christmas“.
The birth of Jesus Christ, the traditional Christmas time, is the Christian holiday celebrated each year on December 25th (according to the Gregorian calendar) or on the 7th of January (according to the Julian calendar). It is part of the 12 religious holidays (Lordly feasts) celebrated by Byzantine churches, being the third most important religious event of the year, following the Easter and the Whit Sunday, reason for joy, peace, and spiritual tranquility.
The Christmas Holiday, sanctified for the first time in Rome, in 354 A.D. is strongly related to the Cult of the Sun – the supreme God bearer of life.
It is, accordingly, a feast for life.
Having spread the good news on the birth of Jesus Christ, disclosed by Michael the Archangel to Virgin Mary, though His embodiment, the Son of God revealed the value and the exigencies of the human living experience. He was born to give a new dimension to human living, as an intermediate between God and the people.
The Holy Scripture reveals that Joseph and Mary, Jesus’ mother, came from Nazareth into the fortress of Bethlehem, and not having found a place to stay in the fortress, they had to spend the night in a shepherd cave and that was where she gave birth to the Holy Infant in a simple manger.
Upon His Birth, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit came down upon the Son of God and the angels rejoiced together with the shepherds.
The Son of God was born for us to glorify ourselves through our beliefs and our deeds.
May the Holiday of the Birth of Jesus Christ find us all in serene peace and sanity, listening to the carol singers in the mild light of the night and guarded by the shining star of Bethlehem lit over the new born Holy Infant who would rise to be the Messiah of Christians everywhere.
The philatelic issue was brought to life using images of icons and interior paintings of the Saint Sylvester Centenary Church in Bucharest with the approval, willingness and full understanding of the Parson of the Church, Professor Priest Nicolae Bordasiu.

The interior of the church, painted by one of the most important artists of the epoch, Costin Georgescu, also the author of the grand fresco of the national history hosted by the Romanian Athenaeum, is harmoniously combined with the icons bearing the signature of word painter Sorin Dumitrescu and the „Pantocrator“ of the vault painted by Ion Grigorescu.

The stamp with the face value of RON 1.00 reproduces the image of the „Birth of Jesus Christ“ icon in the iconostasis of the church.

Issue date: 2008-11-05

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