2 euro Vatican City 2013, Sede Vacante MMXIII

2 Euro Commemorative Coins Vatican City 2013, Sede Vacante

€2 commemorative coins - Vatican City 2013, Sede vacante. 

Commemorative 2 euro coins from Vatican City

Description: The design features the coat of arms of the Cardinal Camerlengo and above it the symbol of the Apostolic Camera, two small crosses, the words ‘CITTÀ DEL VATICANO’ at the left and ‘SEDE VACANTE MMXIII’ at the right. The coin’s outer ring depicts the 12 stars of the European flag.

Reverse: left from the coin centre face value: 2, on the right inscription: EURO; in the background of the inscription a map of Europe; in the background of the map vertically six parallel lines ending on both sides with five-pointed stars (the reverse is common for all euro coins)

Issuing volume: 125 000 coins
Date of issue: 3 June 2013
Face value:      2 euro
Diameter:        25.75 mm
Thickness:       2.2 mm
Weight:           8.5 gr
Composition: BiAlloy (Nk/Ng), ring Cupronickel (75% copper - 25% nickel clad on nickel core), center Nickel brass
€2 Edge Inscription: Combination of the number 2 and ** repeated six times.

Sede vacante 
Sede vacante is an expression, used in the canon law of the Catholic Church, that refers to the vacancy of the episcopal see of a particular church. It is Latin for "the seat being vacant" (the ablative absolute of sedes vacans "vacant seat", and/or the Italian for the same term), the seat in question being the cathedra of the particular church. After the death or resignation of a pope the Holy See enters a period of sede vacante. In this case the particular church is the Diocese of Rome and the "vacant seat" is the cathedra of Saint John Lateran, the cathedral church of the bishop of Rome. During this period, the Holy See is administered by a regency of the College of Cardinals. According to Universi Dominici Gregis, the government of the Holy See, sede vacante, (and therefore of the Catholic Church) falls to the College of Cardinals, but in a very limited capacity. At the same time, all the heads of the Roman Curia "cease to exercise" their offices. The exceptions are the Cardinal Camerlengo, who is charged with managing the property of the Holy See, and the Major Penitentiary, who continues to exercise his normal role. If either has to do something which normally requires the assent of the Pope, he has to submit it to the College of Cardinals. Papal legates continue to exercise their diplomatic roles overseas, and both the Vicar General of Rome and the Vicar General for the Vatican City State continue to exercise their pastoral role during this period. The postal administration of the Vatican City State prepares and issues special postage stamps for use during this particular period, known as "sede vacante stamps".

Vacancy of the Holy See
The coat of arms of the Holy See also changes during this period. Instead of the papal tiara over the keys, the tiara is replaced with the umbraculum or ombrellino in Italian. This symbolizes both the lack of a Pope and also the governance of the Camerlengo over the temporalities of the Holy See. As further indication, the Camerlengo ornaments his arms with this symbol during this period, which he subsequently removes once a pope is elected. The arms of the Camerlengo appear on commemorative Vatican euro coins minted during this period, which are legal tender in all Eurozone member states.

The interregnum is usually highlighted by the funeral Mass of the deceased pope, the general congregations of the college of cardinals for determining the particulars of the election, and finally culminates in the papal conclave to elect a successor. Once a new pope has been elected (and ordained bishop if necessary) the sedes is no longer vacant, so this period then officially ends. Afterward occurs the Papal inauguration (formerly in the form of a papal coronation), and the formal taking possession of the cathedra of the Saint John Lateran.

Cardinals present in Rome are required to wait at least fifteen days after the start of the vacancy for the rest of the college before they can hold the conclave to elect the new Pope. After twenty days have elapsed, they must hold the conclave, even if some cardinals are missing. The period from the death of the Pope to the start of the conclave was often shorter but, after Cardinal William Henry O'Connell had arrived just too late for two conclaves in a row, Pius XI extended the time limit. With the next conclave in 1939, cardinals began to travel by air. Days before his resignation in February 2013, Benedict XVI amended the rules to allow the cardinals to commence conclave sooner, if all voting cardinals are present. Historically, sede vacante periods have often been quite lengthy, lasting many months, or even years, due to lengthy deadlocked conclaves.

The most recent period of sede vacante of the Holy See began on 28 February 2013, after the resignation of Benedict XVI at 19:00 UTC on 28 February 2013 and ended on 13 March 2013 with the election of Pope Francis, a period of 13 days.

The longest period without a Pope in the last 250 years was the approximately half year from the death in prison of Pius VI in 1799 and the election of Pius VII in Venice in 1800.