GIAN FRANCESCO ABELA
This commemorative volume presents in collected form a number of studies written on the occasion of the third centenary of the death of Comm. Gian-Francesco Abela, whose work has earned him the title of "Father of Maltese Historiography".
The third centenary of Abela's death, which occurred on the 4th May, 1655, was befittingly commemorated by the Malta Historical Society. On the 4th May, 1955 a delegation of the Society laid a laurel wreath on Abela's grave in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St. John's Co-Cathedral. On the 15th June, at a solemn commemoration held at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta, an introductory address by Professor J. Galea was followed by three papers read by Mr. E.R. Leopardi, Mgr. Professor A. Bonnici and Mr. R. Bonnici Call. These three papers are included here, together with six other studies specially written by members of the Malta Historical Society.
The Very Rev. Professor S.M. Zarb, O.P., O.B.E., devoted an editorial to Abela's Centenary in the October-December 1955 issue of "Scientia", in which two of the studies that are included here originally appeared, i.e. Abela's work throughout Three Centuries, by E. R. Leopardi, [p.6] and G.F. Abela and the Maltese Language, by J. Cassar Pullicino. Thanks are due to the Editor of "Scientia" for per-mission to reproduce these articles.
This collection of essays not only marks the passage of three centuries of Maltese Historiography. In re-assessing the value of his work the writers have paid a lasting tribute to the achievement of Gian-Francesco Abela, whose memory deserves to be enshrined in the minds and hearts of his fellow-countrymen. In making possible the publication of this volume, both the Malta Historical Society and the Department of Information have helped towards the perpetuation of the memory of Abela's life and work among present and future generations.