It's easy to forget that while Pope Francis is a renowned religious leader, he's also the ruler of the world's tiniest independent state.
Many of the earliest stamps bore reminders of papal power and authority -- like an orb or the the keys of St. Peter. But the Vatican has also issued postage that celebrates the birth of Christ. These stamps contain beautiful images of the nativity.
Browse through the Vatican's Christmas stamps in the slideshow below. For more, click through the state's Stamp Catalogue.