The Swatar parish, which is dedicated to the first Maltese canonized saint, now has its titular statue of San Ġorġ Preca. The statue, which will be inaugurated today, has a connection with the work of San Ġorġ Preca who had introduced the child Jesus procession on Christmas eve and the teachings on the Incarnation mystery when the Son of God became man.
The Swatar community on Saturday evening welcomed the arrival of the titular statue of San Ġorġ Preca in the parish, which is the youngest parish in Malta. The titular statue shows the MUSEUM founder holding the child Jesus in his hands.
Parish priest, Fr Robert Grech, explained why the parish chose this sort of image. “Each time we look at the statue we remember the message of San Ġorġ to lead us to Christ and his teachings and reflections which he left in connection with the Incarnation of Christ. He also left various writings and interesting theology that one may reflect on and read, which also assists us in our christian life”.
The Swatar parish, with a community of around 6,000 residents, has a living memory of San Ġorġ Preca with two MUSEUM sections for boys and girls. Fr Grech says these are a grace and a great enrichment for the parish.
The titular statue is the fifth statue by Camilleri Cauchi’s shop of Fgura. Work on the statue was carried out by Alfred and his son Aaron who said that a particular challenge was that many people still remember San Ġorġ Preca and they had to match his image as much as possible.
Artist Aaron Camilleri Cauchi said “the statue was cut from wood; we used African mahogany to sculpture it. Work took around eight months; now the statue is completed, both in gilding and also the polychromy.
Aaron said that the child in San Ġorġ Preca’s hand was sculpture on the image of a child Jesus found at the St Francis Church in Valletta, which was sculptured by his grandfather, Wistin Camilleri, in the beginning of the 20th Century. It is said that San Ġorg Preca had organized the first Christmas eve procession with this child Jesus figurine in 1921.
The statue was donated to the Swatar parish by Emanuel Vella and his family.
This evening, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna will lead a celebration during which he will place the child Jesus for the first time in the hands of San Ġorg Preca and blesses the statue.