Friday, July 12, 2024

Victoria or Rabat is divided into two parishes, that of Saint Mary, The Assumption, with its Cathedral in the citadel, and the Basilica Church of Saint George in the lower part of the town.

Saint George Parish Rabat is the name of the medieval town of Gozo.  It acquired city status, in 1887, and in 1897 was named by the British Colonial Government of the day as Victoria,  to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  'Rabat' though,  is Arabic and archaic Maltese for suburb.  Rabat has two parishes; the Cathedral and the parish of Saint George.  The parish church of Saint George lies just off the main square, It-Tokk.  It is situated in the very centre of the old town, and the parish is thought to have originated in medieval times; probably around 1450.  The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 7th August 1672.  It was consecrated on 21st September 1755.  On 6th September 1958, the church was bestowed the title of Basilica.  The inside is covered with marble, with a very impressive bronze and gold gilded canopy over the high altar.  The main attraction however, is a statue of the patron saint, Saint George, sculpted in wood in 1838.


'A Magna Maxima'
From Great Supreme
Minn Kbira, L-Oghla

The Cathedral - Assumption of The Blessed Virgin MaryA cathedral church is one that is presided over by a bishop and in which the bishop has its cathedra, or throne.  There is much history, but the foundation stone of the present Cathedral was laid on 21st September 1697.  The new church was officially inaugurated on the eve of the Assumption, 14th August 1711.  The present Cathedral Chapter is made up of eighteen Canons who have the title of Monsignors.  Since 1864, Gozo has had seven Bishops.