Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Historical Churches - Church of St. Gregory the Great at Kercem, Malta

Church of St. Gregory the Great at Kercem
The village of Kercem lies close by to the south-east of Victoria; this village has the most beautiful landscapes in the Island of Gozo. Archaeological Discoveries show that the sizeable area of Kercem was inhabited as early as the Ghar Dalam Phase (5000-4500 BC). The Roman Baths and an early Christian cemetery at Ghar Gerduf, referred to by Gozitan historian De Soldanis as Roman Catacombs, are also significant discoveries. Kercem evolved into a village community in the late Middle Ages, around an ancient chapel dedicated to Pope St. Gregory the Great built around 1581. The site gained historical importance due to the annual Traditional St. Gregory Procession from the Matrix Church in Rabat (Victoria) to this Medieval Chapel, upon the saint's feast, namely on the 12th of March. The chapel was however replaced by the present parish church in 1851 which in turn was expanded later on to its present state in between 1906-1910.  It foundation stone was laid at the end of the procession on the Feast of Saint Gregory on 12 march 1846. It was consecrated on 22 October 1912. The village was established a parish church on 10 March 1885. The Village Church was traditionally dedicated to Pope St. Gregory, but since 17th August 1885, the church was additionally co-dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

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