Tags

  • Catholic Church
  • Landmark Historical Place
  • Landmark & Historical Place

Description

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.HistoryThe 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 1724. 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.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.Works of ArtThe 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.

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