Vatican Stamp Collection

Stamp Categories

There are 6 types of stamps represented in the Collection.


These stamps are dedicated to a certain topic, and are printed for various postal rates. Sede Vacante definitives are designed and used between the death of one pope until the next Supreme Pontiff is elected. This stamp was issued in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. 



Stamps of this type display an event, person, or anniversary of a person or event.


St. Ignatius Loyola, Jesuit Jubilee Year, 2006 (Left) and Fra Angelico (Right).


Issued in 1938 to 1992, it is no longer printed because most mail today is delivered by air. 



Special Delivery

Issued between 1929 –1966, these stamps were used for deliveries when speed was desired.


Postage Due

From 1931 – 1968, the stamps indicated amounts owed to the post office. Today the mail is simply returned to the sender.



Increasingly popular, these stamps display a specific topic.


  The International Year      Restoration of the

    of the Book, 1972           Sistine Chapel, 1994


In addition to single stamps, Souvenir sheets are comprised of either topical or commemorative stamps which form a composite picture of several stamps. The stamps can be detached individually for postage.

More information on the history and diversity of the Vatican City postals is found on

Popes Elected from 1958-2013

Pope Francis: March 13, 2013


Pope Benedict XVI:  April 19, 2005 - Feb 28, 2013


Pope John Paul II: Oct 16, 1978 – April, 2005


Pope John Paul I: Aug 26 – Sept 28, 1978

Pope Paul VI: June 21, 1963 – Aug 6, 1978

Pope John XXIII: Oct 28, 1958 – June 3, 1963