2011 – Madonna tal-Karmnu, St. George’s Fief, limits of Santa Luċija, Gozo

Qasam San Gorg Niche 2

In 2011, as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, Wirt Għawdex wanted to contribute in the preservation of some part of the heritage in a local community. It was decided that, in conjunction with the Kerċem Local Council, the much needed maintenance work on the statue of the Madonna Tal-Karmnu (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) located at St. George’s Fief, limits of Santa Luċija, and its immediate surrounding area, would be undertaken. Wirt Għawdex commissioned the professional restoration of the statue which was carried out by restorer James Licari.

History

The statue of the Madonna tal-Karmnu shows the Blessed Mary holding baby Jesus on her right arm. Both Madonna and Baby Jesus hold a scapular, towards which there still exists a great devotion locally. Originally, the statue stood by itself on a stone pedestal. The elements had their toll on the statue until, about a hundred years ago, a niche enclosing the statue  was built on top of the pedestal thus preserving it from more damage.  It is said that the statue was commissioned as a sign of thanks from the local community for the deliverance from plague.

Qasam San Gorg NichBefore and after

Inscriptions

The two Latin inscriptions on the pedestal have the following meanings: ‘His Excellency Archbishop Francesco Saverio Caruana, on 20 August 1837,  decreed that 40 days indulgence would be conferred on whoever recites the Salve Regina in front of this statue.’ And ‘Celest Cassar has erected a niche for this statue of the Madonna tal-Karmnu and has always maintained and kept it lit, all at his own expense.’

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