Basilica of the Patronage of Our Lady

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Basilica of Our Lady of Patronage)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Basilica of Our Lady of Patronage
Bażilika tal-Madonna tal-Patroċinju
Il-Kappella tal-Wied
  (Maltese)
Tal-Patrocinju Ghasri.jpg
The façade of the Basilica
Basilica of Our Lady of Patronage is located in Malta
Basilica of Our Lady of Patronage
Basilica of Our Lady of Patronage
Location in Malta
36°03′55″N 14°13′35″E / 36.06526°N 14.22646°E / 36.06526; 14.22646Coordinates: 36°03′55″N 14°13′35″E / 36.06526°N 14.22646°E / 36.06526; 14.22646
LocationGħasri, Gozo, Malta
CountryMalta
DenominationCatholic
History
StatusMinor Basilica (served as vice-parish church when Għasri was raised to status of vice-parish)
DedicationOur Lady of Patronage
Architecture
Functional statusChurch (served as vice-parish church when Għasri was raised to status of vice-parish)
Architectural typeVernacular
Administration
ParishGħasri Parish
Clergy
RectorThe Very Rev. Mgr Dr. Edward Xuereb

The Basilica of Our Lady of Patronage is a small countryside church located in Wied il-Għasri, Malta.[1]

The facade of the chapel has four pillars in the Doric style, which hold up the two-storey building. Two small bell towers (one old, and one built in 2004) house three bells between them. The Basilica has a cupola without a lantern.

The first church[edit]

The present site of the church was previously occupied by another as early as 1530, as documented by the historian Achille Ferris. This small chapel that was in place was dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and was built by the Cini family, the descendants of whom live in Żebbuġ.

In 1657, during a pastoral visit, the chapel was declared unfit for purpose, as it was unkempt and abandoned. The chapel was then rebuilt some time in the 18th century.

The second church[edit]

In 1656, Pope Alexander VII gave Mary the title of Our Lady of Patronage. This title was then declared a universal devotion by Pope Benedict XIII. There is evidence that the devotion spread to Gozo so much so that the new church built between 1737 and 1739 and consecrated on May 8, 1739 was dedicated to its present title.

The builder and financial sustainer was the Rev. Thomas Saliba, whose family still lives in the village of Għasri. A pastoral visit in 1744 described the church as a long hall with a roof resting on five arches. The door looked southwards and one altar was made of precious alabaster. The main altarpiece portrayed the Blessed Virgin wearing a mantle, with which she was covering a man. The altarpiece is still in use today and was painted by a local artist from Senglea.

Later on, the sacristy was added, as well as other works of art, and a benefice to support the maintenance of the chapel.

The third church[edit]

By 1750, the area surrounding the church was becoming more populated, and the chapel itself was place of pilgrimage. Thus, Rev. Saliba requested that the Grandmaster of the Order of St John give him a larger piece of land on which a bigger church could be built. The document granting him permission was received in March 1752. The new building was consecrated on 5 October 1754, while the present altar was consecrated by H.E. Vincenzo Labini in 1789.

Minor basilica[edit]

The church of Our Lady of Patronage was elevated to dignity of minor basilica, and affiliated with Santa Maria Maggiore by Pope Clement XIII in 1768. This made the church the first basilica in Gozo.

Confirmation of this was given on March 7 2004 after research in the Vatican Archives by the then-rector the Rev. Mgr Joseph Zammit.

In 1872, the area was raised to vice-parish (under the parish of Żebbuġto better administer to the pastoral needs of the people. The chapel served as vice parish church until a new parish was established in 1921 with the newly built church serving as parish church.

List of rectors[edit]

Rectors of the Basilica
Name Term began Term ended Notes
1 Dun Tumas Saliba 1768 21 Nov 1776
2 Dun Ġużepp Schembri 1776 19 Jan 1821
3 Dun Mikiel Bonavia 1821 10 Apr 1825
4 Dun Mikiel Grima 1825 18 Mar 1849
5 Dun Mikiel Micallef 1849 16 Mar 1893
6 Dun Mikiel Bugeja 1893 7 Jun 1907
7 Dun Ġużepp Galea 22 Oct 1911 13 Jan 1925
8 Dun Ġorġ Vella 1925 18 Oct 1926
9 Dun M'Anġ Grima 1927 23 Feb 1929 While serving as parish priest.
10 Dun Salv Scicluna 1929 17 Apr 1937 While serving as parish priest.
11 Dun Franġisk Mercieca 1937 22 May 1938 While serving as parish priest.
12 Dun Manwel Xerri 1938 5 Sep 1948 While serving as parish priest.
13 Dun Ġużepp Borg 1948 17 Jun 1951 While serving as parish priest.
14 Dun Karm Vella 1951 2 Mar 1965 While serving as parish priest.
15 Dun Ġwann Cini 1965 20 Nov 1966 While serving as parish priest.
16 Rev. Mons. Ġużepp Zammit 1966 -
11 Rev. Mons. Dr Edward Xuereb - 2021 While serving as parish priest.
12 Rev. Dr Dominic Sultana 2021 - While serving as parish priest.

[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Busuttil, Roderick. "The Basilica of Our Lady of the Patronage". Kappelli Maltin. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  2. ^ Calleja, Anthony. Il-Korpus.