Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady
Diocese of Gozo
The present church was officially inaugurated on the eve of the Assumption, 14 August 1711. It was dedicated by Bishop Giacomo Cañaves in a twenty-four-hour-long ceremony on 11 October 1716. Archpriest Cassia-Magri and his successors proceeded to enhance and embellish the church with works of art.
On 10 June 1798, General Bonaparte ousted the Knights from Malta, but in September the Maltese rose against the French. The Gozitan uprising was led by the Archpriest of the Matrice Saverio Cassar, who succeeded in incarcerating all the French troops on the island within the Citadel walls. On 28 October, the French surrendered. For nearly two years Gozo became an independent country known as La Nazione Gozitana. This came to an end on 5 September 1800, when British rule (1800–1964) was ushered in.
On 16 September 1864, Pope Pius ix established the diocese of Gozo and Comino. The Matrice was declared the Cathedral of the new diocese. A cathedral church is one that is presided over by a bishop and in which the bishop has its cathedra or throne. The faithful of the diocese regard the church as the Mother of all churches in the diocese. The cathedral church is served by a chapter or body of canons whose duty it is to chant the Divine Office daily in choir. The present Cathedral Chapter is made up of eighteen canons who have the title of Monsignors. Since 1864, Gozo has had eight bishops.
Citadel, Victoria, Malta