Canon Dun Guzepp Adami (1868 – 1930):
An Archpriest who was part
of great events during his time
Dun Guzepp Adami was another Arch priest
born in Senglea. He was the 9th Arch priest of Senglea and the most
important events in the history of the parish of Senglea since it was
elevated to Collegiate on
the 21st May 1786 took place during
his time in office. He served as Arch priest for a good number of years,
eighteen in all from 1908 – 1927.
He was born on the 3rd May 1868
and he was one of the altar boys of the Collegiate. He entered the
Seminary and was ordained as a priest on
the 19th May 1894. He was very
sought after for confessions. Dun Guzepp was also the spiritual director
in many state schools and a renowned preacher. In 1905, when he was
forty years old he was appointed Parish priest of Ghaxaq and on the 29th
October 1908 he was appointed Arch priest of Senglea.
In Senglea he strove a lot so that the Franciscan Sisters
could take in their hands the Hospice of St Anne. In the church he continued the
marble works started by his predecessors. He personally paid for the expenses to
make a marble baptistery which has a small statue showing St John the Baptist
baptising Jesus Christ on top of it.
The statue of Marija Bambina had
attracted lot of devotions for over three hundred years. It arrived in Senglea
in 1618 and the people of Senglea used to go to pray in front of this statue
which was placed in a niche in the chapel where there was the Blessed Sacrament.
When the people were in danger such as during earthquakes, the plagues and
scarcity of rain, they always prayed fervently and with great devotion for Her
intervention. Ever since Arch Bishop Caruana arrived in Malta
in 1915 he started getting lots of requests so that he could intervene on their
behalf and get permission from the
Vatican to have the
statue of Marija Bambina crowned. Since there was World War I going on, all
negotiations had to stop but once the war was over in 1920, the Chapter of the
Collegiate presented a plea to the Vatican to
have the statue crowned. The approval for this crowning was issued on the 1st May 1920 and
arrived in Malta
on the 7th May 1920.
In this way during the time when Dun Guzepp Adami was Arch priest the statue of
Marija Bambina because the first statue of Our Lady in Malta to be
crowned following a degree issued by the
coronation was carried out by Archbishop Mauro Caruana on the 4th September 1921.
Arch priest Adami himself had the honour to inform the Chapter of the
Collegiate, during an urgent meeting held on the 19th January 1921, wherein he
informed the Canons with the pontifical document Ad Perennandam Memoriam by
which the Collegiate of Senglea was elevated to the dignity of Basilica. This
document marked a historical occasion in the history of Senglea.
Without doubt the eighteen years
during which Dun Guzepp Adami was Arch priest of Senglea were years which filled
him up with joy and satisfaction. In January 1927 he was appointed Monsignor of
the Cathedral of Mdina and so he had to relinquish his post as Arch priest. He
died at Rabat
when he was living on
the 11th December 1930 aged sixty two. His
funeral was carried out on the following day at the Cathedral of Mdina.