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Vatican Post Office Traditionally Issues a Special Stamp Upon a Pope's Death


Tradition has it that the Vatican Post Office issues a special stamp upon the death of a pope.

Officials in Vatican City Saturday said the so-called "vacant see" stamp will carry an image only of two crossed keys.

The traditional image on Vatican stamps issued while a pope is alive contains both the keys as well as other papal symbols.

These special stamps are only valid during the so-called "interregnum," or between the time of a pope's death and when a new one is elected by a conclave of cardinals.

The last time the Vatican issued a vacant see stamp was in 1978, when Pope John Paul I died.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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