Stones of Faith: Funerary Rites and Customs at the Gozo Matrice

Stones of Faith: Funerary Rites and Customs at the Gozo Matrice

by Charles R. Cassar


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Stones of Faith: Funerary Rites and Customs at the Gozo Matrice by Charles R. Cassar

The Cathedral of Gozo perched atop the Castello is renowned for its art treasures, drawing many visitors throughout the year. a little known feature is the wonderful array of marble tombstones that cover the whole floor of the church. The tombstones, which were produced at different periods, exhibit various styles and are a testimony of skilful artisticcraftsmanship in marble intarsia. replete with memento mori symbols and intended to appeal to the senses, these ledger stones provide an enduring tribute to the people who sought to be laid to rest in the sacred confines of the church.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789993274117
Publisher: Midsea Books
Publication date: 12/31/2012
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

List of Plates xviii

Abbreviations xix

Chapter 1 Introduction

1 Introduction 1

1.1 The Civil Situation in Gozo prior and during the Time of the Knights of Malta 3

1.2 The Church dedicated to the Assumption at the Castello: from a Matrice to a Cathedral 5

Chapter 2 The Architectural Context

2 The Baroque Architectural Fabric of the Cathedral of Gozo 9

Chapter 3 A Context for Church Burial

3 Gozo Matrice: a History of Church Burial before the Baroque Age 13

Chapter 4 Death, Burial Rites, and Customs

4 Death, Burial Rites, and Customs prevalent at the Collegiate Church of Gozo in the Baroque Age 17

4.1 Lacrimosa dies illa, qua resurget ex favilla 18

4.2 The Celebration of Death within the Theatrum Ecclesiaticum 23

4.3 A Note about the Church Music Manuscripts held at the Gozo Cathedral 29

Chapter 5 The Tombstones

5 A Story narrated: the Use of Emblems and Images on the Tombstones 33

5.1 Dating the Tombstones at the Gozo Cathedral 35

5.2 Curiosities and Rumours about Some of the Tombstones 35

5.3 The eighteenth-century Tombstones at the Gozo Cathedral 38

5.3.1 Tombstone no. 32 - Arch. Francesco A. Formosa 39

5.3.2 Tombstone no. 1 - Felix Axac 40

5.3.3 Tombstone no. 16 - Nicolai Cuxchieri 40

5.3.4 Tombstone no. 31 - Bartholomaeus Tabonius 41

5.3.5 Tombstone no. 65 - Congregation of Priests (St Philip Neri) 42

5.3.6 Tombstone no. 43 - Juratus Agius 43

5.3.7 Tombstone no. 4 - Ioan(nes) Baptistae Mifsud 44

Chapter 6 Conclusion 47

Bibliography 51

Manuscripts Sources 56


Appendix I Glossary of memento mori symbols that are to be found on the tombstones at the Gozo Cathedral 57

Appendix II List of Roman missals held at the Gozo Cathedral Archives (up to the year 1860) 63

Plates 65

The Latin Inscriptions 91

Cathedral Plan 119

The Corpus 121

The Nave 125

The South Aisle 165

The North Aisle 177

The other Lapidary 196

Index 201

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