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Leno, Letterman, and others will have a ball with this.
Jesus? Who’s he?
Many Catholics (e.g., B16) have forgotten who Lesus, er, I mean Jesus, is, right?
I guess Lesus is more, right?
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Coins Celebrating Pope Misspell Name Above All Names
By GAIA PIANIGIANI
Published: October 11, 2013
ROME — It seems absurd that any official Vatican memorabilia would misspell the name Jesus. Or that the Italian institute that mints coins, passports and postage stamps would make such an error. And yet the fact remains: a new series of special commemorative coins honoring Pope Francis got it wrong.
They call him Lesus.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, on Friday. “Even people who make coins.”
The Vatican confirmed on Friday that it had withdrawn 6,000 coins commemorating Pope Francis’ first year in the papacy. The coins had already been distributed to retailers when it was discovered that “Jesus” had been rendered as “Lesus” on a Latin phrase engraved around the edge of the coin. The sentence, by the Venerable Bede, a seventh-century theologian, contains Pope Francis’ self-chosen motto, “miserando atque eligendo,” which loosely translates as “lowly but chosen.”
Father Lombardi acknowledged that the Vatican was responsible for the error, made when the coin was being designed. But he seemed mildly amused by the matter. “If only these were the problems we had to deal with,” he said, laughing.
Twitter users found it amusing as well. A user with the Twitter handle BruvverEccles, alluding to the religious order Francis belongs to, wrote, “I blame the Lesuits.” Daniel Burke, who co-edits a religion blog on CNN.com, wrote, “For the love of Lesus, the Vatican could sure use an infallible copyeditor.”
The coin was minted by the Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute, a state-controlled manufacturer. On Friday, Lorenzo Carella, a spokesman for the institute, said lasers were used to produce the coins. The lasers trace a digital image based on a mold.
The coins are then minted in gold, silver or bronze.
“We had the mold delivered to us,” Mr. Carella said. “We produced them, packed them up and sent them off.”
The Vatican has not decided whether to mint new coins, but if it does, the value of the flawed versions could skyrocket for collectors, experts said. The bronze medals were briefly sold for 80 euros each, or $108; the silver ones for about $135; and the gold for $203.
“Regardless of what the Vatican decides to do now, it’s an interesting purchase for a collector,” Francesco Santarossa, owner of a numismatic and philatelic shop near St. Peter’s Square in Rome, said in a phone interview. “I don’t think they ever made such a mistake in the 600-year-long history of papal medals.”