Belgium, Christmas & New Year

christmas&newyear * Included in thè postage stamps subscription.

This year's Christmas and New Year stamp depicts thè cen­trai stained-glass window of thè Church of St Catherine in Bethlehem.

This window shows thè Baby Jesus with his parents, St Fran­cis and a brother of thè order. The stamp bears Belgium's coat of arms and thè locket por-trait of Cardinal Mercier.

The 9 sq m window was made by thè Ganton brothers of Ghent and presented by Belgium in 1926. On thè initiative of Belgium's General Consul, thè Mestdagh studio, also of Ghent, restored thè window in 2004. To strengthen thè symbolic character of thè stamp's mes-sage of peace, it is fringed by thè words Peace on Earth in English, Dutch, German and French, Hebrew, Arabie, Latin, and Russian, Swedish, Danish and Finish, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

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