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Unidentified coat-of-arms on antique wall clock belong to Bishop Saverio Caruana (1)

After reading the letter by Frederick Galea (The Sunday Times, November 29), I would like to inform him that the coat-of-arms on the antique Maltese wall clock he bought is that of Bishop Francesco Saverio Caruana (July 7, 1759 - November 17, 1847).

Caruana hailed from Żebbuġ, Malta, and was ordained priest by Bishop Vincenzo Labini in 1783. Thirteen years later, in 1796, he was nominated canon of the Cathedral Chapter.

During the French blockade, he agreed, unwillingly, to be a member of the government commission, but later resigned, being unable to prevent the French from making unjust laws.

This led him to do everything in his power to bring the British to Malta, and he later became a member of the National Congress.

Caruana was nominated archdeacon of the Cathedral Chapter in 1822. Although he expected to become bishop after the death of Bishop Labini in 1807, the Pope appointed the Senglea-born Mgr Ferdinando Mattei, who, at the time, served as auxiliary bishop.

In 1829, after the death of Bishop Mattei, he was elected Capitular Vicar and governed the diocese until February 28, 1831, when he was nominated Bishop of Malta by Pope Gregory XVI. He was consecrated bishop on May 15, 1831.

After 16 years as bishop, Mgr Caruana died at the age of 88. His remains were interred at the Mdina Cathedral. The Dictionary of Maltese Biography (Vol. 1, pp. 478-479) contains an extensive bibliography about Mgr Caruana, a bishop and authentic patriot who genuinely loved and faithfully served his country.

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