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Samogitia Christianization on the First Stamp 2013

Oct 31, 2013

The first stamp of this year will be released on Saturday, January 5. The new stamp is intended to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Samogitia Christianizationand establishment of the Samogitia Diocese.

The first this year’s stamp has been designed by the artist Mindaugas Gribauskas. The stamp will be issued in the edition of 80 000 copies with a nominal value of LTL 2.45 (EUR 0.71).

The stamp features the first Samogitian bishop Motiejus Trakiškis and a fragment from Włodzimierz Tetmajer‘s fresco “Christianization of Lithuania” (Sosnowiec Cathedral, Poland).

Along with the stamp, the first day cover and sheet will be released. On Saturday, in Telšiai Main Post Office, all letter-post items paid by the new stamp will be marked with the first day cancelation.

The Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas and the King of Poland Vladislovas Jogaila (Władysław II Jagiełło), with the aim to bring the Grand Duchy of Lithuania closer to the culture of Western Europe, started Christianising Lithuania in 1387 following the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. However, due to a specific political and historical situation, Samogitia further remained a pagan region. Vytautas and Jogaila initiated Christianization of Samogitians only in 1413, and the process was finalized in 1417 with the establishment of the Samogitia Diocese.

The Baptists sailed by boats by the River Dubysa and completed their journey on foot at Luokė near the Šatrija Hill. Several thousands of Samogitians were baptized in the course of this journey.

The Christianization mission was completed in 1417 by the legates of the Constance Council: the archbishop of Lviv Jonas (Joannes) andthe bishop of Vilnius Petras having established the Diocese of Samogitia with the centre in Medininkai (Varniai at present). The first Samogitian bishop assigned was Motiejus Trakiškis.

On the initiative Vytautas, the Church of St Alexander was built in Varniai.

The 600th anniversary of Samogitia Christianization will be celebrated in Telšiai, Žemaičių Kalvarija, and Varniai.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 postage stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.