The Parish / Church
A well-liked story has become woven into the history of this church. It’s about the ringing bell that signals the ‘tal-Borma’ Mass at 11 am each day. Many people connect this story to a special ‘mensa’ where food was given to the island’s poor from the church.
Main religious festivities (eg village feast)
The primary celebrations take place in July, dedicated to St. George. The titular feast is observed on the third Sunday of the month. A complete week of events unfolds within the Basilica and along Victoria’s main streets. This vibrant period follows an entire month of concerts (Victoria International Arts Festival). The month-long musical celebration paves the way for the bustling week, which culminates in the lively festivities honouring St. George.
Specific noteworthy art/religious pieces
The 1839 titular statue of St. George, sculpted by Pietru Pawl, holds significance. Also noteworthy is the 1678 titular altarpiece of St. George, a creation by Mattia Preti. The adorned bronze canopy crowns the main altar, adding to the splendour.
The Patron Saint & the Titular Statue
St George, a Christian martyr from the late fourth century, was beheaded in 303 AD under Emperor Diocletian. He’s venerated as a significant martyr in both East and West Christendom. Likely introduced by the Byzantines, his cult took root in Gozo. The inaugural processional titular statue in Gozo, carved by Maltese sculptor Pietru Pawl Azzopardi in 1839, stands as a splendid art piece. This masterpiece initiated the tradition of carrying titular statues during feast day processions in Gozo.