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MaltaPost issues stamp set featuring maritime ex-voto paintings

On 29 July 2015, MaltaPost will issue a set of three stamps bearing a face value of €0.51, €0.82, and €1.00 each. The stamps will feature ex-voto paintings depicting a maritime theme.

The Latin term ex-voto is short for ‘from the vow made' and is used in the Roman Catholic Church to refer to an offering that is placed in a church or shrine in thanksgiving of a special favour received. There are various collections of ex-voto paintings in the Maltese Islands, most of which are found in sanctuaries, churches and museums and mainly bear testimony to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.

The €0.51 stamp is a representation of a promise made by Captain Giuseppe Giacomo and his crew on the Brigantine ‘Concezione' when on the 28th December 1835 they found themselves in shallow waters during a great thunderstorm off the coast of Alexandria. The painting portrayed on the €0.82 stamp was in respect of a promise made by Giovanni Ellul while on the barque ‘Matutina' on the 17th January 1839 when during a great thunderstorm Ellul and his crew found themselves blown on the shallow banks of the river Devripul. The €1.00 stamp depicts an ex-voto made by Captain Giuseppe Diacono and his crew of the speronara ‘S.Francesco di Paula' to the Blessed Virgin of Mellieħa when in December 1843 their rudder broke somewhere between Linosa and Lampedusa. In all situations the crewmembers aboard the ships prayed to the Madonna of Mellieħa and were saved.

The stamps have been designed by MaltaPost and will be issued in sheets of 10 stamps. Each stamp measures 48mm x 39.5mm with a perforation of 14.2 x 14.2 (comb.) and the sheet measures 266mm x 105mm bearing the Maltese Crosses watermark. Printex Limited produced them in the offset process and the issue consists of 84,000 stamps of the €0.51 stamp, 42,000 of the €0.82 stamp and 54,000 of the €1.00 stamp.

This philatelic issue will be available as from Wednesday 29 July 2015 from all Post Offices in Malta and Gozo, online at or by mail from the Philatelic Bureau, MaltaPost p.l.c. 305, Qormi Road, Marsa, MTP 1001; Telephone: 2596 1740, email: