On November 27, 1678, Bishop Miguel Jerónimo de Molina raised Xewkija from a hamlet to the status of a village, and as the first parish of Gozo outside Rabat. It was at the time the most populated district in Gozo.

To commemorate this event, which happened 344 years ago, parish priest Daniel Xerri will celebrate Mass at the Rotunda on Saturday, November 26, at 5.15pm. It will be followed by a commemorative evening at the hall of Xewkija primary school.

Xewkija Rotunda, the largest church in Gozo and one of the island’s distinctive landmarks, is dedicated to St John the Baptist. The first parish priest was Dun Grazio Farrugia of Valletta. The foundation stone of the present church was laid on May 4, 1952. It was dedicated on June 17, 1978.

The Rotunda is also the spiritual seat of the Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St John.

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