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Church of the Nativity of Our Lady

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The parish church of this important Gozitan village is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, locally known as ‘Il-Bambina’, and the fine marble interior of this church contains a particularly beautiful marble statue of the young virgin Mary ‘Il-Bambina’ brought here from Marseilles in 1878.

The church is also referred to as il-Vittorja (Our Lady of Victories) as its feast day, which is celebrated on 8th September, also commemorates the victory of the Knights of Malta over the Turks in the Great Siege of 1565.

The parish of ix-Xagħra was established early, by Bishop David Cocco-Palmieri in 1688 with the original seat being the chapel of Saint Antony Abbot which still stands in the village.

The present church, like many others, grew from an older building first recorded late in the seventeenth century. The foundation stone of the church we see today was laid in 1815 and the church was consecrated in 1878. The fourth Collegiate of Gozo was established at ix-Xagħra in 1900 and the title of Basilica was conferred on the parish in 1967.

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