Do you know that Christian-themed Christmas stamps are an example of successful resolutions by the Catholic Women's League (CWL) of Canada?
National CWL Resolution 1959.12 resolved "that The Catholic Women's League of Canada in 39th annual national convention assembled at Saint John, N.B., request the federal government to plan a Christmas stamp depicting a “Nativity Scene” to be issued in Canada annually during the month of December."
This was followed by their Resolution 1980.11 which resolved that "The national council of The Catholic Women's League of Canada, in 60th annual national convention assembled, do commend Canada Post for the issues of postage stamps with religious themes and do recommend that each year one or more of the Christmas stamps issued have such a theme." Resolution 2005.01 resolved "that the national council of The Catholic Women's League of Canada, in 85th annual national convention assembled, urge Canada Post to include a Nativity-related theme in its future Christmas stamp issues." All of these resolutions were archived in 2016 because the action requested has been accomplished. Canadians have had a Christmas-themed stamp for several years now and deeply grateful for the effort of CWL in the process.
Canada Post began the tradition of featuring Nativity art on stamps in 1965, with an issue featuring the Gifts of the Magi. In the years since, the Nativity Scene has been portrayed in children’s illustrations (1970, 1975) stained glass windows (1976, 1997), gouache illustrations (1977), early Renaissance paintings (1978), icons (1988), Aboriginal art (2002), and more. The stamps have provided excellent opportunities to celebrate the birth of Jesus through Canadian art.
Booklets of the 2020 Nativity stamp, the 2019 The Magi, the 2017 Adoration of the Shepherds and 2018 "Away in a Manger" are still available on the Canada Post website.
2021 Nativity Stamps
Celebrate Christmas with this booklet of 12 permanent domestic rate stamps from the 2021 Christmas (Angels) stamp issue. This year’s Christmas issue is inspired by the angels who served as messengers in the Nativity story. The stamp features a simple line depiction of a Christmas angel on a serene white background.
Montréal-based artist Stéphane Huot and illustrator Luc Melanson, who resides near Montréal, produced simple line drawings on a crisp white background, evoking purity and peace through the Christmas season. Beloved symbols at Christmas, angels played an integral part in the Nativity story. In the Bible, these celestial beings, whose name derives from the Greek word for messenger, often serve as benevolent intermediaries between God and humanity. According to the Gospel of Luke, it was the archangel Gabriel who told Mary she would give birth to Jesus, “Son of the Most High,” and when the day arrived, it was an angel who announced the good news to shepherds tending their flocks in the region. A choir of angels singing God’s praise appeared around the messenger angel, and then the awed shepherds departed for Bethlehem to worship the newborn king. (Source: Canada Post)
These stamps are available in outlets as well as through the Canada Post website. Some nativity stamps from previous years are still available through the Canada Post website.
Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers