Thanksgiving Mass for the Venerable Madre Margherita held in Kercem

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Thanksgiving Mass for the Venerable Madre Margherita held in KercemA thanksgiving Mass in honour of the recognition of the heroic virtues of the Venerable Madre Margherita took place in Kercem on Friday evening.

The Mass was celebrated by H.E. Bishop Mario Grech and Fr Gian Giuseppe Calafano who is leading the Cause for the Beatification.

The Mass was attended by the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and the Minister for Gozo Dr Anton Refalo, along with other distinguished guests.

Mother Margherita De Brincat passed away on January the 22nd 1952.

She was baptised at St George’s parish, and this is where her new religious congregation was also born.

An event that occurred in Gozo and left its mark on many parts of the world, was the foundation of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus in 1880. This congregation had its origins in the Association of the Twelve Stars of the Heart of Jesus, initiated in Victoria by a group of young girls whose spiritual director was Fr Joseph Diacono, at that time assistant Parish Priest at St George’s.

Fr Diacono, then, committed himself in transforming this association in a diocesan religious congregation, first with the name of Franciscan Tertiaries and later, Franciscan Sisters of Malta.

As time passed, this congregation was given Papal approval and to express its charism better, the name was changed to Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus.

In the Constitutions of this Congregation, while Fr Joseph Diacono initiated the congregation, there was also Mother Margerita, who through a divine disposition, led it on, cultivated it, and brought it to maturity. Mother Margherita, born Virginia Debrincat in Kercem, was trained at Fr Diacono’s school.

Virginia De Brincat was baptised at St George’s Parish Church, Victoria, on 28 November 1862, exactly hundred and fifty years ago. At the age of 27, inspired by the Holy Spirit, she decided to run the congregation and managed to overcome the crisis that had almost brought it to an end.

Today, the congregation is still strong.

Photographs: MGOZ/George Scerri

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