Easter stamp issue from Cyprus

April 4th, 2013

The Cyprus Postal Office issued a set of three commemorative stamps celebrating Easter 2013. The stamps illustrate "Christ's Entry Into Jerusalem", "The Crucifixion" and "The Resurrection" icons.

Christ's entry into Jerusalem, riding a donkey, is an expression of humility which in today's materialistic world is almost non-existent. The icon which is painted on canvas originates from the Church of Panayia Chrysaliniotissa, in Nicosia, but is currently housed at the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation Museum.

In the scene, Christ and his disciples are advancing from the right while a crowd is welcoming Christ at the gates of the city, with the rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre in the background.

Christ's love for mankind was so great that even as he was dying he prayed: "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing". This scene of the Crucifixion is taken from the Christological cycle of Christ's life as depicted in the frescoes that adorm the Cathedral of St. John, in the walled city of Nicosia. Christ is depicted larger than life and is surrounded by a choir of angels in the upper part. Roman soldiers, Jewish scribes and the distressed figure of the Mother of God are shown at the foot of the Cross.

Without the Christian belief in the Resurrection of Christ, Christianity would not exist. The scene of the Risen Christ coming out of a sarcophagus, as shown in the western manner, appears on the north wall of the Cathedral of St. John. The Cathedral's foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Niceforos on 30th April 1662.