Monday, December 19, 2016

Brazil 2016 - Christmas

ISSUE DATE: 4 October 2016
STAMP SIZE:30 x 40 mm
ARTWORK: Biaggio Mazzeo
STAMP DESIGN: Jamile Costa Sallum

The word "angel" comes from the Greek ággelos and the Latin angelus, meaning messenger or sent from God. The term "angels" is also used for celestial beings belonging to God, praising him and performing his will (Is 6.1 -7; Psalm 148.2). The angels and Archangel Gabriel are characters featured in the records of Christmas. 

The Hebrew word Gabriel means "man of God" (heb. Geber = "pole" and El - short form of Elohim = "God"). This Archangel is quoted several times in the Holy Bible.

The man, since his stay in paradise, knew the existence of angels, a fact evidenced in many ancient religions. Angels are mentioned in Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. In Christianity and Judaism, the angels are mentioned in the Bible characters, evoked in many books, where they are characters that perform different functions.

In the old testament angels make a bridge between men and God (Zacharias 2,5-9) and the arrival of the Savior in several passages, as in the book of the Prophet Daniel, which announced the coming of the Redeemer. So the Prophet said: "Gabriel from God Appeared and told me: within 70 weeks of years (490 years) appears the Holy of Holies" (Dn 9, 20-27).

In the New Testament the angels have the privilege to announce the coming of Jesus Christ (Lk 1, 26-33), birth (Lk -11 2.10) and his resurrection (Matthew -8 28.1). The Angel Gabriel appears in the narrative of Luke, which describes the events of the Nativity. The Archangel Gabriel was entrusted the mission to announce the incarnation of the son of God. So, this Archangel is much revered since antiquity. When it appeared the Zechariah announcing that I was going to have him for a son John the Baptist, so introduced himself: "I am Gabriel, who is in the presence of God" (Luc. 1, 11-20). 

In the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, Gabriel appears as sent by the Lord. He is the herald of the birth of Jesus Christ (Lk 1, 26-38): ... "God sent the Angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee, to a Virgin named Mary, and, coming next to her, I told her: ' Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you '. She was confused, but the angel said to him: 'Don't be afraid, Mary, because you are in the grace of the Lord. You will conceive a son who shall be given the name Jesus. He is son of the highest and his Kingdom will have no end ". 

Another warning of Gabriel is given to José, husband of Mary, to whom the Lord has entrusted the Sagrada Familia. He is warned by an angel which appeared to him in a dream, as quoted in Mt 1, 18-21: "..., behold, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary your wife, for which it was generated and is the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a son, and you shall give him the name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins ". 

The announcement of the birth of Baby Jesus to the shepherds is an episode of the Nativity, described in verses 8-20 in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke. "And suddenly the Angel saying : "... I bring you tidings of great joy that will be for all the people: today, in the city of David, was born the Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2, 10-11). 

After the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Bible records that a multitude of the heavenly armies appeared in heaven praising God. The good news for humanity, is accompanied by another: "peace be upon the Earth". " “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2, 14)". 

In all the stories of the Nativity, the angels had played an active role in the birth of the God Boy, a fact that contributes to the deepening of our faith in this mystery! This Christmas issue highlights the character of the Archangel Gabriel, bringing it to our time, announcing all new horizons, with paths marked by hope and peace. 

For his role as Messenger of God, the post office decided by acclaiming the Angel Gabriel as its Patron Saint, in view of its mission to "offer affordable and reliable solutions to connect people, institutions and businesses, in Brazil and in the world ". Motivated by its mission and by announcements of St. Gabriel, the Post office wishes a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Stamp images and description thanks to Correios

Brazil Post