On Friday 15 February, H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, visited our museum which is currently racing against time to open its doors on Saturday 23rd. He met some Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria members and collaborators, as well as St George’s Archpriest and Vicar.
After being shown through by Coordinator and Curator Mgr Joseph Farrugia, he spoke a few words to express his satisfaction. He began by addressing the worksmen currently on site: “You have earned your daily bread; you have applied your craft; you have offered a monument to the glory of God!”
He noted that Il-Ħaġar shows the importance of religion in our history and can also be used as an evangelization tool, especially visitors for whom this may well be a first contact with faith. “As a sign of appreciation and respect” and to show his support for this “monumental project”, he also donated two documents to FBV Chair Antoine Vassallo: a holograph by late Bishop Nicholas J. Cauchi and an autographed letter from Pope Benedict XVI. The first was delivered at St George’s Basilica during the centennial festivities in 1984, while the second was sent to Bishop Grech following the Pope’s 2010 visit. Mgr Grech adapted a quotation from Mgr Cauchi regarding the inspiration who is St George, by expressing a conviction that his love was the deciding factor which “led you on the sure path towards Jesus and his Church”. “Your love of St George spurred you on to establish this centre to everyone’s admiration”.
Bishop Grech continued by praising this “jewel of inestimable value in St George’s crown, chosen precious stone in the structure of the parish and of Gozo’s Church and extraordinary collection of religious, cultural and artistic history. He spoke also of his approval and thankfulness towards “those who gave their share, even involving personal risks”.
Bishop Grech ended his visit by giving his blessing.