The U.S. Postal Service issued the Our Lady of Guápulo stamp, designed by Art Director Greg Breeding. This Forever stamp was dedicated in a virtual ceremony and is now being sold at Post Office locations nationwide and online.

"The Postal Service is delighted to present this Christmas stamp, Our Lady of Guápulo, which continues our tradition of Madonna and Child stamps," said USPS dedicating official Angela Curtis, vice president, Retail and Post Office Operations. "Beginning today, this gorgeous stamp is available to use for your holiday cards and packages."

Curtis was joined for the ceremony by Tey Marianna Nunn, director and chief curator of the Art Museum and Visual Arts Program, National Hispanic Cultural Center. The virtual stamp event can be viewed on the Postal Service Facebook and Twitter pages.

The painting "Our Lady of Guápulo" was created in the 18th century by an unknown artist in Cuzco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Historians characterize the artists at this time as members of the Cuzco school. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, European painters worked with indigenous artists in and around Cuzco. The Europeans trained local artists in styles and forms that dominated European countries at the end of the Renaissance period and during the Baroque era.

"Our Lady of Guápulo" reflects a local variant of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain. The figure venerated as Our Lady of Guápulo originated as a sculpture, commissioned in Quito, Ecuador, in 1584 and transferred to a chapel in the nearby village of Guápulo in 1587. Closely resembling the Spanish holy image from which she originated, the statue was credited with many miracles. Represented by many artists since then, she is often portrayed dressed in an ornate, pyramidal robe fastened with a rosary, holding a flowered scepter in one hand and the Christ Child in the other.

Source: U.S. Postal Service