Benefactor and saintly cleric of Gozo

Nicola-Angelo Macanuzio also known as Maħnuq, was a nobleman of Gozitan extraction living in Valletta.

The only mention of this personality we traced from Gio Pietro Francesco Agius Sultana* in his worthy publication: Il Gozo Antico-moderno e Sacro-Profano...

Agius Sultana says that ‘Judging from the amount of land belonging to this family, one can easily see that until the past century, this family was very wealthy, if not the most wealthy in Gozo.

‘Doctor Nikolan-Angelo the son of Raniero, was a saintly cleric and a great benefactor of Gozo. In a painting of the Transfiguration of the Lord at the chapel of St Joseph in the Citadel, one can see in the lower right hand corner the portrait of this saintly cleric.

On 4 September 1618, Macanuzio registered his will in the acts of Giovanni Simone di Lucia. He left the lion’s share of his movable and immovable property – a large portion of which was along the whole length of the Xewkija side of Mġarr ix-Xini Valley to the Collegium Melitense of the Society of Jesus in Valletta.

The bequest by Macanuzio to the Collegium was made with a very specific condition – a donation for the benefit of the youths of Gozo. The Society of Jesus accepting the donation, would be obliged to open a permanent residence and college on the island of Gozo for the benefit of the inhabitants of that island. In another clause he decreed also that if the Jesuits did not accept the bequest, it should be passed on to the Order of Preachers with the same conditions attached.

The Society of Jesus gave up the bequest, while the Dominicans showed little or no interest at all. The attempt of Macanuzio to set up a Gozo Campus of the Collegium Melitense failed. The land then bequeathed for the college, was used for the creation of the canonicates of the Collegiate Church of Gozo’.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.

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