Vatican Misspells “Jesus” On New Papal Coins

Vatican Coin

Someone at the Vatican is probably feeling a bit embarrassed by now:

The Vatican has withdrawn from sale 6,000 copies of a new papal medal on which the name of Jesus was misspelt.

In an inscription around the edge of the coin, Jesus was mistakenly spelt with an L.

Keen-eyed experts snapped up a handful of the coins, which were struck in gold, silver and bronze by the Italian mint, before the mistake was noticed.

Vatican coins and medals bearing the face of Pope Francis are bought by collectors all over the world.

A few collectors may make a fortune because of the scarcity value of the flawed medals, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome.


FILED UNDER: Religion, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    Look, the whole Jesus brand is getting kind of long-in-the-tooth, it was time to look at some re-branding. Think of Lesus as New Coke.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    God works in strange ways. Or at least he would if there was such a creature.

  3. rudderpedals says:

    A venal sin, not cardinal. A blessing for numismatists, also.

  4. Tony W says:

    If the infallible pope says it’s Lesus, then it’s Lesus, and always has been.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I was under the impression that Jesus, as in Jesus Christ, is spelled “Iesus” (with an uppercase i) in Latin.

  6. Argon says:

    Lesus! How stupid can you get?
    Farging iceholes.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hey, lighten up guys. We all make mistakes.

  8. DrDaveT says:

    @Timothy Watson:
    Correct — in Latin it’s Iesus (or some other ending besides -us, depending on which declension you need at the moment). Nevertheless, it’s pretty clear that nobody who actually reads Latin did any QA on the engraving.

  9. @DrDaveT: Thanks, that’s what I thought. But every article I read about the error says tha “Jesus” (with an uppercase j) was intended.

    I guess I should chalk that up to people not knowing Latin? 🙂