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Lesus Christ: Vatican Misspells 'Jesus' on Papal Medals

The Vatican's recently debuted commemorative medals say "Lesus," instead of Jesus. Zoom

The Vatican's recently debuted commemorative medals say "Lesus," instead of Jesus.

So much for papal infallibility. Embarrassed Vatican officials are recalling 6,000 commemorative medallions made in honor of Pope Francis after misspelling "Jesus" as "Lesus."

They say that God is in the details, but what about Jesus? The Vatican has had to recall 6,000 commemorative medals bearing the name "Lesus" where "Jesus" should have been.

The gold, silver and bronze medals were made by the Italian State Mint to commemorate the beginning of Pope Francis's papacy.

The medallions, which went on sale Tuesday, depict Pope Francis and a Latin phrase that he has said inspired him as a young man to pursue a life in the church.

In Latin, the phrase should have read: "Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me" -- or "Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, follow me."

The Vatican's official press office told British tabloid Daily Mail on Thursday that four of the misspelled medals had already been sold before the recall. If the medals become valuable collector's items, as is likely, their owners will have Lesus to thank.

chw -- with media reports

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1. optional
peskyvera 10/11/2013
Nobody is perfect.
2. papal medals/editorial oversight
spintrian 10/11/2013
Evidently the mintmaster didn't proofread. But then neither did your editors -- "antque" indeed! The translation from Latin to English is flawed; third pereson singualr present indicative active of videre is videt, not vidit, which is the perfect tense -- it's like translating "Sah ein Knab' ein Röslein steh'n" as "A boy is seeing a rose to stand." My old managing editor used to say that he didn't expect his editors to know everything but he did expect them to be nonsense detectors. I would wish Der Spiegel no less.
3. Latin coin?
pcavnar 10/11/2013
Excuse me, there is/was no letter "J" either in the ancient or modern Latin alphabet so, I don't know why there is all the fuss and a recall....
4. Vatican snafu!
Jingles 10/12/2013
They need to melt down all those coins and give the gold to the poor!
5. small mistake
sramanero 10/12/2013
Ironiously, also the display of the Latin text in the article contains a mistake: it says antque in stead of atque :-)
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