There’s a medal that’s designed and struck each year of the Pope’s reign. Each year the Holy See has a medal designed to communicate in art the officeholder of the papacy.

Poor Pope Francis’ medal has a glaring mistake in the misspelling of the Lord’s given name, Jesus. Medal reads: “Lesus.”

The circumference of the medal reads, in Latin: “Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque 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.) The sentence is taken from Saint Bede’s commentary of Saint Matthew’s gospel. What is seen on the papal coat of arms is very abbreviated. Each coin has the Pope’s coat of arms.

The Holy See recalled the 400 sets from sale after the spelling error was pointed out; only four were sold.  There are individual coins of gold (200), 3,000 silver, and 3,000 bronzed include a certificate of authenticity from the Vatican Secretariat of State. Indeed, these four medals become a rare artifact.

Created by the Italian State Mint and clearly an embarrassment. Spell check? I think back to what I used to say to my high school students when they gave me work with misspellings. Ahh, but we are only human.