‘Fulgens Corona’ – Reliving the event of forty years ago
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Today, the 2nd of September, the Parish of Xaghra is commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the coronation of the statue of Our Lady of Victories. To mark this special occasion, a multi-media exhibition entitled ‘Fulgens Corona,’ is being held.
‘Fulgens Corona,’ – means the radiant crown and was adopted from the encyclical which Piu XII issued on the feast of Our Lady of Victories in 1953. This exhibited crown was laid on the papier mâché statue guided with golden leaves and brought from Marseille, France.
The crown, which as Mgr. Eucharist Sultana, Archpriest Emeritus states, symbolises the bond of the parishioners with Our Lady.
The exhibition was officially opened on Saturday, the 31st of August by Mgr. Eucharist Sultana and blessed by the Fr. Joseph Bajada.
Fr. Bajada is the curator and was assisted by Stefan Attard. The ceremony started with a moving speech by Archpriest, Mgr. Carmelo Refalo. Among the guests were the Minister for Gozo, Dr. Anton Refalo, members of the Committee of 1973 and various people who worked on the crown and this exhibition and last but not least, various parishioners of different ages.
The informative panels in the exhibition include details about the whole project, official letters and deeds, the score of the official hymn written by the then Maestro di Cappella Nazzareno Refalo and poems written for the occasion.
Cuttings from newspapers and the original design created by Mr Joe Sagona which was selected by the Jury during a competition held for the ideal crown are also on display, as well as the tools which the goldsmith Tarcisio Cassar used and the crown made of brass which he did to serve as a model.
A selection of photographs from the time are on view, which has caused great curiosity among the visitors, trying to guess who these were.
On display in another section of the exhibition is the cushion on which the crown was taken in procession in the arms of the then Chief Justice J. J. Cremona, who was born in Xaghra and lived there part of his childhood. There are also the garments which Mgr. Nicholas Cauchi wore that day.
There are two audio-visual clips; the first one features the actual ceremony and the second one includes five interviews with people who were directly involved and have their own stories to tell.
The climax of the exhibition is the crown, which the organisers say, “is undoubtedly a precious thing and not only for its worth in terms of money, made of gold and precious stones, including aquamarines, rubies, diamonds and pearls. It also reminds all visitors of our fathers who worked hard, donated money and were proud to have their patron saint crowned and venerated.”
“Local visitors to the exhibition, can all add their own story, they were either present for the event of forty years ago and so can relive it, or if they are younger, they are eager to know what actually happened. It brings back memories of the event, both happy and sad, seeing photographs of lost relatives.”
The exhibition is attracting good crowds, both local as well as tourists. The exhibition will remain opening till Sunday, the 8th of September at the Centru Vokazzjoniet at Xaghra, Gozo.
However, since the village is celebrating its feast, the golden crown will be placed back on the head of the Bambina and the silver crown will be on show. This silver crown is identical to the golden one and is placed on the Bambina’s head during the year.
For this occasion, the artist Paul A Stellini created an incisione which can be acquired. The number of copies is limited to 40, to remark the fortieth anniversary.
The opening hours are:
Monday 2nd September 2013: 10.00am – 12.00pm and 6.00pm – 9.00pm.
Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th September: 6.00pm. – 9.00pm.
Friday 6th September 2013: 6.00pm – 10.00pm.
Saturday 7th and 8th September 2013: 10.00am – 12.00pm and 6.00pm – 10.00pm.
For more information please telephone 21551042.