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Fr. Emmanuel Magri, SJ
(1851-1907)
Father of the Maltese Folk Tradition

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Scott 1325 Scott 570
MALTA, 2007, Magri and the Sleeping Lady, Scott 1325
MALTA, 1980, Monument restoration, the Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni, Scott 570

Scott 194 Scott 194a Scott 211 Scott 236
MALTA, 1938, 1843, 1948, 1953, the hypogeum on earlier issues, Scott 194, 194a, 211, 236

Fr. Emmanuel Magri, SJ, was born in Valetta on 27 February 1851 and died in Sfax, Tunisia on 29 March 1907. He joined the Jesuits in 1871 at the Gozo Novitiate in Ireland, and did his Philosophy at Stonyhurst, England, his Regency at Santa Venera, Malta and his Theology in France, Spain, and Gozo. He was ordained in 1881 in Tortosa, Spain, and later taught at St. Ignatius’ College, Sliema, and was Treasurer at the College of Santa Pulcheria, Istanbul, Turkey , Prefect of Studies at the Gozo Seminary, Assistant to the Provincial of Sicily, Rector of Gozo Seminary, and finally Jesuit Superior in Catania.

Amid this activity he was also a pioneer in archaeology and folk tradition. He worked on the excavation of the Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni, the oldest of the important monuments in Malta, between November 1903 and 1906. It was from the main chamber of this Hypogeum that the Sleeping Lady statue was recovered, which is featured on the stamp and is now kept in the Valletta Museum of Archaeology. He also published the results of his excavation of the prehistoric temple of Xewkija on the island of Gozo and of three stelae he discovered in a private house in Floriana, Malta. He also published more than 60 stories and 180 proverbs, and has been called with reason the Father of the Maltese Folk Tradition. More

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