With this post, I'm wrapping up my look at the silver $10 coins of the Royal Canadian Mint (R C M) that make use of the same 36 millimeter (mm) planchet as do the silver dollars; most of the Mint's silver $10 coins use a 34 mm planchet. I previously posted about my collecting endeavor for the 36 mm silver $5 coins - the 12 coins in that group required more collecting effort than the four coins of the $10 series, especially considering I had purchased three of the four previously as part of my regular collecting efforts. (I was missing only the Year of Veterans coin.) So, without further adieu...
In honor of the canonization of Pope John Paul II (JPII), the Royal Canadian Mint (R C M) issued a silver $10 commemorative coin in 2014. Pope JPII was canonized as Saint John Paul II on April 27, 2014 in a ceremony led by Pope Francis; it took place just over nine years after his death. (For a brief review of John Paul II's rise in the Roman Catholic Church, see my post on the 2005 John Paul II $10 coin, link below.)
Pope Benedict XVI, JPII's successor, supported sainthood for JPII, and waived the standard five-year waiting period which placed JPII on the "fast track." The call for his sainthood began shortly after his death as the public attending his funeral began shouting "Santo Subito!" ("Make him a saint immediately") - Benedict took action soon after.
Benedict XVI announced John Paul II's beatification on January 14, 2011; the formal beatification ceremony took place on May 1, 2011 within St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Beatification, an interim step before sainthood, requires evidence of one miracle. Beatification indicates that a person is definitely in heaven and that he/she can intercede on behalf of those who pray to him/her. The case of Sister Marie Simon-Pierrez was the catalyst behind JPII's beatification. (See below.)
To be considered for sainthood, a person must be connected to at least two confirmed miracles. These can have occurred during the candidate's lifetime or after they had died. In John Paul II's case, both miracles are said to have happened after his death.
The first involved a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierrez (above). She was diagnosed as suffering from Parkinson's disease in 2001 and was told by doctors that she had no hope of recovery. Shortly after JPII's death, Sister Marie and the other sisters of her order, the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood, prayed to Pope John Paul II (who had also been diagnosed with Parkinson's) asking for his help. Sister Marie woke up on June 3, 2005 feeling well and, upon examination by doctors, was determined to have fully recovered from her condition absent of medical intervention or explanation.
John Paul's II second miracle was on behalf of Floribeth Mora Diaz of Costa Rica. Ms. Diaz had developed an inoperable brain aneurysm in 2011 and was given a dire prognosis. She had been praying to John Paul II and telling him that she did not want to die and leave her children. After watching the beatification ceremony for John Paul II on TV, however, she claims to have later been called by him to get up and be well. She fully recovered against all odds and without medical intervention. She is alive today, and continues to live in Costa Rica.
The Mint announced its John Paul II commemorative coin on March 27, 2014, a month before the ceremony that would elevate him to sainthood; the coin was available for general purchase on April 1. Commemorative coins intended to be souvenirs of a contemporary event typically (historically) generate the bulk of their sales during the period shortly before and shortly after the event as the hype and excitement of it are at their peak - the Mint understood this and made the coin available at the optimal time.2014 John Paul II Canonization $10 Silver Coin
The foreground design on the coin's commemorative reverse depicts Pope John Paul II praying over the Eucharist while celebrating Mass during his 1984 visit to Canada. The image is based on a photograph taken by Trevor Tennant, with the coin's design work credited collectively to "Royal Canadian Mint engravers" as a group vs. specifically identifying any individual engraver(s). Behind JPII is presented the repeating multilingual text "CANONIZATION 04.27.2014 - CANONISATION 27.04.2014 - KANONIZACJA 27.04.2014 - KANONIZACION 27.04.2104". The text is presented in English, French, Polish and Spanish - the four languages central to the story of JPP's elevation to sainthood. JPII's signature is seen on a panel to the left (viewer's perspective) of his upraised arms.
The coin's obverse features the Susanna Blunt portrait of Queen Elizabeth II; the Blunt portrait of QEII began appearing on Canada's coins in 2003 and continues to the present day.
The $10 proof coin was struck on a 0.9999 fine silver planchet that is 36.07 mm in diameter and weighs 23.175 grams. The coin had a maximum mintage of 8,500; per the Mint's Annual Report
for 2014, sales totaled 8,499 - a sell out!
A number of other countries issued coins in 2014 to mark John Paul II's sainthood, including his home country of Poland. Plus, a large number of privately-struck medals and related souvenir pieces were also produced. For the collector of religious-themed coins and medals, especially of Catholic themes, JPII's rise to sainthood provides a rich collecting environment.2014 Poland Pope John Paul II Canonization 10 Zloty Silver Coin (Image Credit: Courtesy of the National Bank of Poland, media images.)
For related content, see:
- 2005 Pope John Paul II $10 Coin
- 2005 Year of the Veteran $10 Coin
- New Collecting Pursuit - 36 mm $5 Silver Coins
For other posts about Canadian commemorative coins and medals, see: Read More: Commems Collection