Capuchin friar and poet Mattew Sultana was commemorated in his native village on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
He was born in Xagħra on August 5, 1918, with his family moving to Żabbar soon after.
A Mass was celebrated at the Xagħra Basilica by Fr Jethro Bajada, a newly ordained Capuchin friar.
After Mass, archpriest Carmelo Refalo led the congregation and, on behalf of the Collegiate Chapter, laid a wreath at the poet’s monument on the external side of the basilica. Another wreath was laid on behalf of Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Xagħra, the promoter of these activities.
A musico-literary evening at the Xagħra Basilica, organised by the Culture and Information Office within the Gozo Ministry, was attended by Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana and Xagħra mayor Joe Cordina.
Speeches about the poet were read out by Paul George Pisani and the Capuchins’ provincial, Fr Effie Mallia. There was also a short address by the Gozo Minister.
The programme also included the recital of some of Fr Sultana’s poems, accompanied by music played by organist Joseph Camilleri.
Soloist singers Marita Vella and Diana Zammit, together with a children’s choir under the direction of Michaela Bajada, also took part.
The commemorative evening came to an end with the singing of the national anthem. Guests included a good number of the poet’s relatives who crossed over from Malta for the occasion.
An exhibition about the poet was inaugurated at the parish office immediately afterwards. Exhibits include some of Fr Sultana’s personal items, particularly religious objects related to his priestly ordination in 1942, photos, manuscripts, letters, various typed and printed poems, together with his published books.
This exhibition, organised by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Xagħra, will be open on weekends up to September 6.
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