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Rome Reports

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The best photos of John Paul II and Benedict XVI in a single calendar

Fr. Giuseppe ColombaraDirector Vatican Photographic Archive“The idea was born at the Vatican’s Photographic Service, because having such a grand photographic heritage it would be a waste not to use these great pictures to spread the image of the Pope."

Every year, there are about 1 million snapshots to chose from of Benedict XVI, for the calendar. A special selection that has to meet strict criteria.

Fr. Giuseppe ColombaraDirector Vatican Photographic Archive"It is an aesthetic criterion. We look for images that are beautiful and meaningful and that transmit facial expressions, like the pope’s smile But we also use others that show the Pope with people at meetings.”

In all, some 40,000 copies are distributed and available in several formats and sizes. They’re sold in the Vatican and are also available at news stands throughout Italy and on the internet. And though John Paul II died 5 years ago, he continues to break record sales.

Fr. Giuseppe ColombaraDirector Vatican Photographic Archive“Images and calendars with John Paul II are more popular, but we also get requests for those with the image of Benedict XVI.”

The calendar showcases some of the most memorable moments of their pontificates along with their closeness to the public, special meetings with heads of states and others that should never be forgotten.

Fr. Giuseppe ColombaraDirector Vatican Photographic Archive

"We want to illustrate the Pope as the father of all people. Not just of Christians and Catholics, but of the whole world. A Pope who relates to everyone who goes to meet him. Illustrate a ; peaceful figure, smiling figure, a figure full of humanity.”

This is the calendar’s third edition, and for the 2011version, the calendar comes with the Vatican’s official agenda.

Fr. Giuseppe ColombaraDirector Vatican Photographic Archive“We are preparing an agenda that will be filled of beautiful pictures for 2011.”

An agenda and the best pictures of the popes, that the public will have to wait for another 12 months to see on news stands.