Holy Family 2012 US Postage Stamps
Holy Family NO Die-Cut (imperf):
The Holy Family 2012 Foreverl Postage Stamp
The Holy Family (Forever®) stamp celebrates Christmas with a scene from the Nativity story that reminds us of the joys of the season: family, togetherness, and the birth of the baby Jesus. It continues the U.S. Postal Service's tradition of issuing beautiful and timeless Christmas stamps and will be a treasured addition to cards and letters sent during this season of goodwill and sharing.
Reenactments and commemorations of this episode are enduring traditions. Medieval mystery plays — dramas based on biblical stories that were performed in towns across Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries — featured the Flight into Egypt as part of their Nativity cycle. Christmas pageants today reenact the Holy Family's flight, with portrayals ranging from simple children's plays to elaborate live nativity scenes. Other celebrations include the Feast of the Holy Family, observed by the Roman Catholic Church during the Christmas season, and the Coptic Orthodox Church's Feast of the Escape of the Holy Family to Egypt, commemorated each year in June.
Legends about the Flight into Egypt have inspired artists from Raphael to Rembrandt to imagine and illustrate the Holy Family's journey. Their flight has been rendered in other forms as well: stained glass windows, frescoes, sculptures, wall hangings, and woodcarvings, among others.
The escape of the Holy Family is also commemorated in music, with compositions such as the 19th-century work The Childhood of Jesus by Hector Berlioz, or the traditional Irish carol “The Flight into Egypt.” Composer John Harbison won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his work for chorus and orchestra, Flight into Egypt, Sacred Ricercar.
Working together, art director William J. Gicker, designer Greg Breeding, and artist Nancy Stahl created an evocative new image of the Holy Family. The stamp illustration shows Joseph leading a donkey that carries Mary and Jesus, guided by a star shining in the twilight of a desert sky.
Digital First Day Cover:
A lovely presentation of the “traditional” Christmas issue, this #6 ¾ envelope carries an affixed Holy Family (Forever®) stamp and an official First Day of Issue color postmark. Illustrating a traditional episode from the Nativity story, the stamp design shows Joseph leading a donkey carrying Mary and Jesus into Egypt, guided by a star shining in the twilight of a desert sky.
The deep purple and gold color postmark expands the Nativity theme, depicting a brilliant star illuminating the silhouette of a small town, and includes the date and location of issue: October 10, 2012, Washington, DC 20066.