On Friday, Gozo Bishop Mgr. Mario Grech, led a concelebration in the Sanctuary of the Annunciation of Our Lord, Nazareth.
Attending the occasion were 150 people on a ten day Diocesan Pilgrimage in the Holy Land, together with the Franciscan Minors
A number of priests joined with Bishop Grech in the concelebration, including Fr Gerard Buhagiar, rector of Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary in Gozo. Also present was E.T. Cecilia Attard Pirotta, the Maltese Ambassador to Israel.
The Mass ended at the front of the upper Basilica, and was followed by the inauguration of the image in mosaic of the `Madonna ta’ Pinu,’ the work of Fr Roberto Gauci and Joseph Borg of the Liturgical Arts Centre Eikon in Gozo.
The image was blessed in Gozo during the Vigil on the Eve of the Assumption on the 14th of August, on the parvis of Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary.
Father Bruno Varriano OFM, the Guardian of the Franciscan community in the Sanctuary at Nazareth, said that this icon was put in place as a show of appreciation to the many Maltese and Gozitan pilgrims that annually visit this sanctuary, under the spiritual guidance of Fr Twanny Chircop OFM, Maltese Commissioner to the Holy Land.
It now joins other Marian images from countries around the world in the courtyard of the Sanctuary in Nazareth, including another Maltese image, that of Our Lady of Mellieha.
Bishop Mario Grech described this event as a “twinning between the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary and that of Nazareth.”
At the end of the ceremony, the Bishop of Gozo, on behalf of the diocese, made a donation of €3,000 – the amount collected in donations by the public during the collection held at the Vigil of the Assumption in Gozo – Father Bruno Varriano said that it would be used to help the poor of Nazareth.
Photograph: Gozo Diocese