Eugenio-Ramirez Maldonado


When the Aragonese handed Malta and Gozo over to the Knights of St. John in 1530, the Knights appointed a Governor to represent the order in Gozo. The role of the Governor was to provide for the social, economical, and infrastructural needs of the island.


One Governor who left his mark on Gozo was Fra Eugenio-Ramirez Maldonado. He was a knight from the langue of Castille and León hailing from Salamanca. Maldonado served as Governor from 1610 to 1612 and in his brief term carried out some noteworthy projects and initiatives.

One initiative he remains credited for till today is the island’s spiritual adoration towards Saint Ursola. Maldonado donated a gilded wood effigy and relic of Saint Ursola to the church of the Castello, today known as the Gozo Cathedral.

Donation of St. Ursola
Part of the dome painting in the chapel of Saint Ursula situated in the south aisle of the Gozo Cathedral. The full painting depicts the donation of the bust of Saint Ursola by Governor Maldonado.

The effigy immediately became the centre of a popular cult and Saint Ursola came to be venerated as a protectress of Gozo. St. Ursola eventually was declared patron saint of Gozo in 1620 by Bishop Cagliares. Her feast is celebrated at the Gozo Cathedral every year on the 21st of October.

The effigy of Saint Ursula
The effigy of Saint Ursula which is currently resident at the Gozo Catheral
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