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Vatican Issues Silver Coin Featuring Vaccination Motif by David Boos

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Vatican Issues Silver Coin Featuring Vaccination Motif

The Catholic Church has a long history of minting coins, dating back to at least the Middle Ages. 

In modern times, however, silver coins minted by the Vatican have become collector’s items; they are no longer a means of transaction. While other public or private institutions also issue their own coins for collectors, the Vatican has upped the ante in recent years by adding increasingly politicised messaging on their silver coin motifs. In 2020, the Vatican released a coin “depicting a mother carrying the earth in her womb” to mark the 50th World Earth Day (a motif some found to resemble the Pachamama theme from 2019).

But a new €20 silver coin leaves very little to the imagination, as it depicts a doctor, a nurse, and a “young person,” situated as “ready to receive the vaccine.” While there is no specific mention of the COVID vaccination on the coin itself, the description on the Vatican’s website does not beat around the bush. In fact, it describes the current theme as “very close to Pope Francis’ heart: treatments to counter the pandemic and the need to be vaccinated.” The description of the coin set reads:

The Holy Father has repeatedly stressed the importance of vaccination, recalling that healthcare is “a moral obligation,” and it is important to “continue efforts to immunise even the poorest peoples.”

The whole set consists of eight coins and is listed at €180. The set has already been sold out. 

So has another special issue, released the same day: a €50 medal commemorating the war in Ukraine, depicting a family fleeing from ruins on one side, and a dove of peace on the other. Above the dove, a prayer is quoted, a prayer spoken by Pope Francis during the General Audience on 16 March 2022: 

Lord Jesus, born under bombs falling on Kyiv, who died in a mother’s arms in a bunker in Kharkiv, a 20-year-old sent to the front lines, have mercy on us.

Proceeds from the sales of this medal will be donated to the Holy Father for charitable work in favour of the Ukrainian people. 

It is not known what will happen to the proceeds of the vaccination coin.

David Boos is an organist, documentary filmmaker, and writer for The European Conservative and other publications.