The U.S. Postal Service's Mother Teresa Stamp

1
The U.S. Postal Service's Mother Teresa Stamp

The Mother Teresa stamp was released on September 5, 2010. (Image by Thomas Blackshear II; © USPS)
The U.S. Postal Service's Mother Teresa stamp was released on September 5, 2010, the 13th anniversary of her death. Thomas Blackshear II/USPS

The U.S. Postal Service's Mother Teresa stamp was released on September 5, 2010, the 13th anniversary of Mother Teresa's death, at a special ceremony held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Designed by award-winning artist Thomas Blackshear II, who attended the ceremony, the 44-cent stamp honors the diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen who served the sick and destitute of India for nearly 50 years. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950.

“Often, stamps are referred to as a nation’s ‘calling cards’ because they reach a national, and even an international audience,” said Postmaster General John Potter in dedicating the stamp. “They focus attention on subjects our country regards with respect and affection, and that is certainly true of Mother Teresa, who believed so deeply in the innate worth and dignity of humankind and worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor, sick, orphaned and dying. That’s why today I am so very proud that our country, after making her an honorary citizen in 1996, is honoring Mother Teresa with such a lasting memorial.”

When Mother Teresa accepted the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize—one of her numerous honors and distinctions—she did so “in the name of the poor, the hungry, the sick and the lonely,” and convinced the organizers to donate to the needy the money normally used to fund the awards banquet. Well respected worldwide, she successfully urged many of the world’s business and political leaders to give their time and resources to help those in need. President Ronald Reagan presented Mother Teresa with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985, the same year she began work on behalf of AIDS sufferers in the U.S. and other countries. In 1997, Congress awarded Mother Teresa the Congressional Gold Medal for her “outstanding and enduring contributions through humanitarian and charitable activities.”

Joining Potter in dedicating the stamp were James H. Bilbray, member, Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service; Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio of the United States; The Most Rev. Barry Knestout, auxiliary bishop, Archdiocese of Washington; Reverend Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; Sister Leticia, MC, provincial superior, Missionaries of Charity; and, Mitzi Betman, vice president, Corporate Communications, U.S. Postal Service.

A citizen of India since 1948, Mother Teresa died in Calcutta on September 5, 1997. Her beatification was presided over by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003, in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome. The cause of her canonization continues and awaits the verification of a second miracle.

Source: U.S. Postal Service Release No. 10-086