5 euro - Centenary of the death of Pope Benedetto XV
The Vatican State Mint is dedicating the five euro bimetallic coin to the centenary of the death of Pope Benedict XV. Giacomo della Chiesa was born in Genoa in 1854 and was elected Pope in 1914, just three months after he was made a cardinal. He became Pope shortly after the start of the First World War. During much of his almost eight-year pontificate he made numerous impassioned appeals for an end to the war. On the reverse side of the coin artist Patrizio Daniele has depicted Benedict XV in profile with his hands joined in prayer and the words: “war, a useless slaughter.” The phrase is taken from a letter written by the Pope in 1917 sent “to the belligerent powers” with the Pope inviting them to reflect on their grave responsibilities before God and humanity. He wrote many letters and exhorted them to end the war, but his appeals went unheeded. He also turned his attention to improving care for the wounded and the many prisoners of war, and to helping the civilian populations most affected by the war.