October 30, 2014 – The canonization of Pope John Paul II was held on 27 April 2014. Lithuanian mint has marked this special occasion by issuing a unique piece of art – a silver medal with an insert. This is a shred of pope’s stole that he was wearing during the visit in Lithuania in 1993.
Lithuania/ Silver 925/ 500 g/ 100 mm/ Designer: Giedrius Paulauskis / Mintage: 50.
The story of the relic
During the visit of Pope in Lithuania the church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Siauliai was not included in the list of attended places. In spite of that Pope asked to open the door and entered the church where he genuflected and prayed for a while. The church floor was recently painted and still damp, so pope got a spot of red paint on his clothes. The surprising fact is that the same red spot appeared (and that happens very rarely) on the granite monument for the Holy Father which was inaugurated in 2012. “This is the sign that the spirit of John Paul II is still with us” – said the bishop Eugenijus Bartulis. A piece of that particular stole Pope was wearing that day is included in the silver medal.
Lithuania/ Silver 925/ 22 g/ 37 mm/ Designer: Giedrius Paulauskis/ Mintage: up to 500.
The obverse and the reverse of the medals
The obverse of the medal depicts Pope John Paul II holding a pastoral staff. The Latin inscription says “John Paul II the Saint”.
Gold Medals are available in three editions.
Lithuania/ Gold 999/ 100g/ 51 mm/ Designer: Giedrius Paulauskis/ Mintage: 8. //
Lithuania/ Gold 999/ 31.1 g/ 32 mm/ Designer: Giedrius Paulauskis/ Mintage: 50. //
Lithuania/ Gold 999/ 1.24 g/ 13 mm/ Designer: Giedrius Paulauskis/ Mintage: 100.
The reverse of the medal depicts four places visited by Pope in Lithuania – Kaunas Cathedral Basilica of Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, Vilnius Gates of Dawn, Chapel of the Apparition of Our Lady of Siluva and the Hill of Crosses. The coat of arms of Pope in the center is surrounded by the Latin words “The visit of John Paul II in Lithuania”.
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Lithuanian Mint isn‘t the only one celebrating the canonization of John Paul II. Issued by Tanzania and designed by Coin Invest Trust, these coins also celebrate the double canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II.