Australia Post shines a light on St Mary’s

The 2017 religious themed Christmas stamps (Australia Post)

Two images of the Madonna and Child from the annual Lights of Christmas display at Sydney's St Mary’s Cathedral have been selected for Australia Post’s 2017 range of Christmas stamps and cards, The Catholic Weekly reports.

The 65c domestic Christmas-card-rate stamp features a representation of a painting from Italian artist Roberto Ferruzzi, dated circa 1505. The image, called Madonnina (commonly known as Madonna of the Streets) was displayed on the cathedral in 2013.

The $2.30 international-rate stamp shows the Small Cowper Madonna by Renaissance artist Raphael (1483–1520). This work, projected onto the cathedral in 2014, was painted in oil on panel around 1505.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP encouraged people to avail themselves of the opportunity to use the stamps and cards featuring Lights of Christmas images.

“They are beautiful images and we are very fortunate to have two of the magnificent projections from Lights of Christmas selected to feature on the Australian and international Christmas stamps,” he said.

The 2017 Lights of Christmas will be launched on Wednesday, December 6, in the cathedral forecourt. Now in its seventh year, the stunning animated light and sound display on the cathedral façade will feature a blend of storytelling and traditional and digital artwork. It will begin each night at 7.30pm with a choir performance, followed by the light and sound show commencing at 8.30pm and continuing until midnight. The final show will be on December 25.

“Many young people from around Australia will be here for the start of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival the following day and I hope they will join the thousands of people from all over Sydney and from all communities who have made Lights of Christmas a wonderful Sydney tradition,” Archbishop Fisher said.

Lights of Christmas creator Anthony Bastic of AGB Events said that the event has grown bigger each year since the first one in 2010.

“Last year marked our biggest year to date, with more than one million people coming to St Mary’s Cathedral to watch the show.”

There are three segments to the show. The first is a visual animation of decorative patterns inspired by St Mary’s stained glass windows and terrazzo mosaics.

The second segment, titled "The Gift of Time", is an animated story on the theme of being attentive to those around us at Christmas time.

The final segment showcases projections of a series of Madonna and Child artworks, featuring three Old Masters’ paintings and three other masterpieces chosen among Archbishop Fisher’s favourites.


Lights of Christmas an event to write home about (The Catholic Weekly)


$2.30 stamp details (Facebook/Australia Post)

65c stamp details (Facebook/Australia Post)

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