The Italian State Mint created and minted a few thousand medals in gold, silver and bronze for purchase.
The medals feature the Pontiff’s coat of arms and motto and went on sale on October8, 2013. Soon after, it was noticed that “Jesus” was misspelled as “Lesus” in Pope Francis’ motto.
His official motto is Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum, et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi, “Sequere me” [Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, “follow me”]
Once the typo was detected, Vatican officials quickly recalled thousands of medals slated for sale to collectors. However, four of the “flawed” medals were already snapped up by collectors before the embarrassing mistake was detected, which makes their value soar.
In the current social media age, puns like “Lesus” Christ. “I blame the Lesuits” quickly made the rounds on Twitter.
Moral of the story: also the Vatican needs a good proofreader! Quod est demonstrandum!