The Vatican Post Office has announced that on Aug. 23, a special series of postage stamps will be valid for the current "Sede Vacante" (vacant See) period during which there is not reigning Pope.
During this period, the temporal administration of the church is in the hands of French Cardinal Jean Cardinal Villot, of France, the papal chamberlain, who is assisted by a rotating team of three other cardinals. The conclave to choose the successor of Pope Paul VI, who died on Aug 6, will open on Aug. 25.
A special postmark will be used by the Vatican Post Office to commemorate Aug. 26 the 400th anniversary of the transfer of the Shroud of Turin from Chambery, France, to Turin Cathedral.
The postmark is a symbol formed by a cross with a reproduction of the face of Christ below it and to the left.
The words "400th anniversary of the transfer of the Shroud from Chambery to Turin" appear on the right side.
Vatican Radio has announced that the shroud will be on display in Turin Cathedral from Aug. 26 to Oct. 8. The shroud will be in a casket and illuminated by two spotlights. The lighting is designed to highligt the shroud's markings, which have been venerated for centuries as the imprint of Christ's body.