Published October 11, 2013
The Vatican recalled more than 6,000 commemorative medals this week after discovering the word ”Jesus” was misspelled as “Lesus” on the coins, according to a report in the German news site Spiegel International.
The Rome-based Italian State Mint produced 200 of the coins in gold, 3,000 in silver, and 3,000 in bronze, to mark Pope Francis’s first year in his papacy.
The medallions depict a religious scene, with a Latin phrase surrounding the edges of the coin that should have read: "Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me" – which translates to "Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, follow me."
Pope Francis has said that the phrase inspired him as a young man to seek a life in the church.
The muddled medals went on sale at the Vatican Publishing House in St. Peter’s Square Tuesday and Britain’s Telegraph reports that four of them were sold before the recall. The mere handful of flawed coins will likely become valuable to collectors.