Church of St Francis, Victoria

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Conventual Church of St Francis of Assisi
Knisja ta' San Franġisk
St Francis Church Gozo Malta 2014 1.jpg
Conventual Church of St Francis of Assisi is located in Malta
Conventual Church of St Francis of Assisi
Conventual Church of St Francis of Assisi
Location within Malta
36°02′32.5″N 14°14′28.0″E / 36.042361°N 14.241111°E / 36.042361; 14.241111Coordinates: 36°02′32.5″N 14°14′28.0″E / 36.042361°N 14.241111°E / 36.042361; 14.241111
LocationVictoria, Gozo
CountryMalta
DenominationRoman Catholic
History
StatusConventual Church
Founded1492
Founder(s)Jacob de Leo Provincial
DedicationSt Francis of Assisi
Consecrated1906
Architecture
Functional statusActive
Architectural typeChurch
StyleBaroque
Completed1663
Specifications
Number of domes1
Number of spires1
Bells4 (1956)
Administration
ParishSt George's Parish Victoria
DioceseGozo
ProvinceMalta
Clergy
Bishop(s)Mario Grech
RectorJoseph Xerri

The Church of St Francis is a Roman Catholic church building in Victoria, Gozo, Malta, situated in St Francis Square. Adjacent to the church is the convent of the Conventual Franciscans.[1]

History[edit]

The original convent and church of St Francis date back to 1492. The original church was dedicated to St Mark. The name was changed in 1535 to that of St Francis. The present church and convent were mostly built in the 17th century. The church was completed in 1663. Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena visited the convent and church in 1742. He stayed there from June 5 till June 9 in order to take possession of the island. This event was commemorated by an inscription on the wall of the rooms he occupied during this visit.[2]

In December 1890 the church was closed to the public by order of the government as it was seen to be unfit for use. The ceiling of the church was in a very dangerous state. The ceiling and façade were rebuilt and the church reopened on April 16, 1893. The church was consecrated by Giovanni Maria Camilleri, bishop of Gozo, in 1906.

The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[3] 4. He stayed there from June 5 till June 9 in order to take possession of the island. This event was commemorated by an inscription on the wall of the rooms he occupied during this visit.[4]

In December 1890 the church was closed to the public by order of the government as it was seen to be unfit for use. The ceiling of the church was in a very dangerous state. The ceiling and façade were rebuilt and the church reopened on April 16, 1893. The church was consecrated by Giovanni Maria Camilleri, bishop of Gozo, in 1906.

The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[5]

Works of Art[edit]

The titular painting of the church depicts St Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata. It was painted by Jean-Baptiste van Loo. The church also has a statue of St Isidore the Laborer which dates back to 1680. Originally this statue was gilded in gold but then it was painted over so as not to attract the attention of the French invaders.[6]

Feast of the Immaculate Conception[edit]

A feast to the Immaculate Conception of Mary is celebrated every year on December 8. The feat dates back to 1663 when a Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception was founded in the church to help in the organization of the mentioned feast. In 1698 a wooden statue of Our Lady representing the Immaculate Conception was used in a procession.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Calleja, Thomas. "Knejjes dedikati lil San Frangisk f'Malta", Malta, 2004. Retrieved on 10 October 2014.
  2. ^ Bezzina, Joseph. "Main Attractions", Victoria Local Council, Malta, 2011. Retrieved on 10 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Church of St Francis" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  4. ^ Bezzina, Joseph. "Main Attractions", Victoria Local Council, Malta, 2011. Retrieved on 10 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Church of St Francis" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  6. ^ "St Francis Church". Retrieved on 10 October 2014.