My name is Saver Cassar. I was born at Għajnsielem, Gozo, on the 29th December, 1746. After embracing the priesthood vocation, I was sent to the Università La Sapienza in Rome where I attained my doctorate in Theology. I was ordained priest in Rome on the 30th March, 1771.
On my return to Malta, Pope Clement XIV appointed me archpriest of the Matrice of Gozo and parish priest of St George’s in Rabat on the 20th April, 1773. I was twenty six years old. Two years later, I was appointed the bishop’s representative for Gozo.
When the French troops occupied Gozo in June 1798, our island fared badly. Our churches were sacked. The Gozitans decided to rise against the invaders. I led a committee to plan the uprising. We took the French by surprise. They retreated to the Gran Castello, Torri Garzes and Fort Chambray where they were beseiged. I led the siege from Gelmus to keep the Gran Castello under surveillance.
However, we could not keep besieging the French if we did not have a strong ally. I contacted Admirial Horatio Nelson who, following negotiations, sent us help. The French, led by Lieutenant Coronel Lockey, were asked to surrender. Captain Alexander Ball guaranteed them a safe return to France. On the 28th October 1798, the French left Gozo, two years before they left Malta.
When the French left, Gozo became autonomous. I presided over Gozo as an independent territory, protectorate of the King of Spain and Naples. However, after twenty two months, Gozo and Malta passed on to the British and Gozo became once again part of Malta on the 19th August, 1801,
This monument is the work of Michael Camilleri Cauchi, cast in bronz by Joe Chetcuti. It was unveiled by Dr Eddie Fenech Adami, President of Malta, on the 14th December, 2005.
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