The external festivities in honour of our patron saint were yesterday.

The La Stella band started a march from Taċ-Ċawla area to St George’s Square. The Tac-Cawla residents appreciate this move to integrate this peripheral section of Victoria with the parish church and its activities through the Concelebration and the band marches.  It played marches along Palm Street and Republic Street It-Tigrija and in St. George’s Square.

In the meantime, the faithful were crowding the Basilica as the melodious pealing of the Barigozzi bells of the Basilica, that announced to the island that the ħruġ min-niċċa was going to take place.

At around 8.30 pm, the statue of St George, a masterpiece in wood by Pietro Paolo Azzopardi (1838) and first titular statue in Gozo, was taken out of its niche during a popular manifestation of devotion.  The Basilica, usually so sombre and contained, became a theatre of devotional calls, song and applause, as the statue representing our patron saint St George was processionally carried around the church dedicated to him to be finally placed on its plinth.

The triumphal exit of the statue of St George from its niche – constituted the first though informal activity leading to the heart of the liturgical and cultural celebrations in honour of the Megalomartyr.