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Praise 'Lesus'? Vatican pulls misspelled coins
The Vatican made a little error on its new medal made in honor of Pope Francis.
October 11th, 2013
11:18 AM ET

Praise 'Lesus'? Vatican pulls misspelled coins

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - For the love of "Lesus," the Vatican needs a copy editor - preferably an infallible one.

In honor of the first year of Pope Francis' papacy, the Vatican issued a commemorative medal Tuesday. The coin-size medals are sold in Vatican City and usually provide a steady stream of revenue for the church.

Just one problem: The Vatican misspelled the name of Jesus on the medal.

One side depicts Francis and the other a biblical phrase in Latin: Vidit ergo Lesus publicanum et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me.

The phrase means: Jesus, therefore, saw the tax collector, and because he saw, by having mercy and by choosing, He said to him, "Follow me."

Except the tax collector on this particular coin is part of the heretofore unknown Lesus Movement.

The Vatican said the Latin phrase profoundly affected the future Pope Francis at age 17 when he heard God calling him to the priesthood. In his native Argentina and in his nascent papacy, Francis has made a point of ministering to people on the margins and preaching about mercy.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

But when the Vatican drew up the medal, it flubbed the Latin phrase, said spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi. (It's worth noting that Latin doesn't have a "J," so maybe we should cut the Vatican a bit of slack.)

Lombardi said the Vatican is to blame for the mishap, saying the error was made "in the preparation, not the execution."

The Italian Minting Institute made about 6,000 of the "Lesus" medals and retrieved all but three or four, according to media reports, which means a few folks are holding onto some pretty valuable mistakes.

Others are having fun with the misspelled phrase on social media, with some blaming the "Lesuits" and others asking "What would Lesus do?"

Lesus wept.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Business • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Money & Faith • Pope Francis

soundoff (324 Responses)
  1. yoo

    I'll have one spirit to go.. You guys and your vapor sales.

    October 12, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  2. yoo

    was that before or after he wanted bad children stoned?

    October 12, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • ploj

      How did we get here?

      October 12, 2013 at 8:28 am |
      • yoo

        orgasms,, lots of them

        October 12, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  3. ploj

    He is a great man. I went to school with people who knew him, who were not Christians. Neither was I at the time, b4 he ran for president and they loved the guy

    October 12, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • yoo

      because your life is meaningless, you are a sinner.. step one when brainwashing, reduce the victim.

      October 12, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  4. yoo

    I heard jesus can't walk on water any more.. The holes in his feet make him sink

    October 12, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • ploj

      He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

      October 12, 2013 at 8:27 am |
      • yoo

        I can see that,, after all, we've learned a lot more about life and humanity since he'd been around. Too bad he didn't get the psychological help he needed.

        October 12, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  5. ploj

    They major in minors and minor in the important stuff. Anything to divert attention from the one who bled and died to remove their sins and their sinful nature

    October 12, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • agreed

      bled and died for sins.. Interesting,, yet far many more people have suffered worse and for longer periods of time.

      and 'bled and died to remove sins' is quite a disorder.

      How old are you?

      October 12, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  6. Dave Green

    What, no conspiracy theory that Lesus was a demon and the church did it on purpose? I'm shocked!

    October 12, 2013 at 6:33 am |
  7. R.M. Goodswell

    I wondered when Lesus would get his due.....2000 years of standing in the shade of that grasping hack Jesus is long enough.

    At least they can call his coins "mistakes" and have them shoot though the roof in value to make up for lost time....

    October 12, 2013 at 6:29 am |
  8. Lawrence Chard

    Interesting, but I wish journalists and newspapers would stop calling medallions coins.
    JESUS is not spelt LESUS, and MEDALLION is not spelt COIN.

    October 12, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • yep

      still all voodoo and witchcraft

      October 12, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  9. yep

    not like they fabricated the bible when they launched the new testament..

    Catholics do go to a dumpster for their religion. Keep ignoring the children with difficult lives due to the cover ups, rather than helping.. Make sure you call them liars too. Yeah, get them good, like pouring vinegar into open wounds. . Make sure you tell everyone that others did it too, so this way you don't need to set the example on helping.

    October 12, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  10. mickinmd

    Considering his name was Yeshua, I find all this funny anyway. The Western world has done things like correct the pronunciation of "Peking" to "Beijing," but it's content to continue to call it's God by the wrong name!

    There was/is no "Y" or "sh" in Greek and masculine names did not end in vowels but were ended with "s" So the "Ye" became – in the Latin letters we use – "Ie", the "Sh" became "S" and the "ua became "us" or "Iesus" which the Romans translated into Latin verbatim and was what he was called in Britain and then England until the late Middle Ages.

    The Norman conquest of England in 1066 introduced the "J" into English. Between 1200 and 1500 it became "masculine" to replace vowels at the beginning of male names with "J." So the Germanic-English name "Yohan" became "John," "Iames" became "James," etc. Finally, "Iesus" became "Jesus."

    So it would be interesting if new printings of the Bible properly renamed "Jesus" to "Yeshua," Mary" to her real name of "Miriam," "Joshua" to "Yeshua" or the more accurate "Yehoshua" used before 500 B.C, etc.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • william tells

      There's something absolutely prophetic about a make-believe Church misspelling the Name of Our Savior & Lord, Jesus Christ, whose central role in creation, redemption and salvation was only relatively recently recognized by that make-believe Church.

      Absolutely prophetic!

      October 12, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • Thinker...

      We can't even call modern countries by their proper names. I can't see how we are going to start calling religious figures who died a couple thousand years ago by their names if we cant even get Deutchland right. Heck we are only just starting to call Ukraine Ukraine rather than THE Ukraine.

      Also it would be hilarious to go to a church in some parts of the country when they are shipped bibles that use Yeshua instead of Jesus. All the screaming and hollering about people 'destroying' the bible would be amusing to watch.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    October 12, 2013 at 5:33 am |
    • Moderate this

      You free speech denying sons of beaches!

      October 12, 2013 at 5:33 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      October 13, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  12. Jake C.

    Has minting been outsourced to China or something? Jesus was written with capital i in Latin, hence Iesus, but then somebody thought it was lower-case L, and the name becomes LESUS with all-caps.
    Mystery solved, but this is gonna stick like a meme.

    October 12, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  13. Pseudotriton

    So, could this just be part of god's divine plan? After all, he/she/it works in mysterious ways, right?

    October 12, 2013 at 1:11 am |
  14. Michealangelo

    I hope it's in my life time that the Catholic Church crumbles into nothing. We talk about Humans being better educated and learning true science, but these awful tribal deity beliefs are just painful to read about. Lose the souls, gods, and after lives, it's all just fiction.

    October 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  15. buckeye

    I bet, he graduated from the "figthing irish" school

    October 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  16. patrick

    all religions and cults are................ koo koo koo koo...

    October 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
  17. Kyle H. Davis

    Praise Lesus!

    October 11, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.