Our History

St Francis School Cospicua is one of the four primary schools on the islands belonging to the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus. The Congregation was founded in 1876, by the Founder Rev. Fr. Joseph Diacono, who proposed it and Rev. Mother Margherita De Brincat, who was instrumental in pursuing it. The hard and faithful work of Rev. Mother Margherita De Brincat flourished into the expansion of the same Congregation around the world.

Reverend Fr. Joseph Diacono called the Association he founded as ‘It-Tnax-il Stilla tal-Qalb ta’ Ġesu’ (meaning The Twelve Stars of the Heart of Jesus). Virginja DeBrincat, was born in Kerċem, Gozo on 28th November 1862. At the age of 18, on 5th February 1881 she was accepted into this Association and was given the name of Mother Margherita.

As she was a very intelligent and also an academically trained lady, which was unusual for those days, Sr. Margherita was given the position of Secretary-General. In fact from the very beginning, she worked side by side with Fr. Joseph Diacono.

It happened that in 1881, Fr. Joseph Diacono was chosen to work as a Parish Priest in Qala. Due to this commitment, he could not keep on guiding the Congregation and in 1889, Mother Margherita started to lead the Congregation herself.

Nowadays, the Congregation can be found working incessantly in Corfu, Ethiopia, Kenya, Italy, Australia, Pakistan, Brazil, Jerusalem, Philippine Islands and last but not least in Malta and Gozo

In 1889 the Religious Order of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, went to Cospicua to open a school in the Cottonera area. Teaching young girls how to read, write and work arithmetic, together with Catholic teachings, was the main objective of the congregation.

The people living in that area were very happy to send their young ones to study in that school, knowing that they were to be under the nuns’ care. Besides educating young children and providing sewing classes,  a number of young ladies met every Thursday and formed a choir under the tutorship of Rev. Can. Muretti every Thursday.

But as the Second World War started, on 11th June 1940, the continuous air raids over the Grand Harbour, hit the Cottonera area very severely. This daily event, caused lots of people to flee from their homes and a large number of families, found refuge in other parts of the island, far away from the harbour. During this war period, the school was temporarily closed and the nuns went to teach in a Government School in Tarxien.

Between 1944 and 1945 the nuns returned to the convent. Meanwhile, the nuns continued to teach in the Government Elementary School of Vittoriosa which was run by Mother Providenza. Approximately in 1951, the nuns started thinking of reopening their school at Cospicua. While repair works were in progress, they taught in a house in  Alley Number 1 in Oratory Street. When the construction works were finished, together with the extension of more classes, they opened a Primary Government School at Cospicua.

Over the years, the school continued to expand and in 1962, the school was providing education up to Grade 3. During that same year, the Head of School, Sr. Olympia Saliba, held a meeting for the parents in which she revealed the Congregation’s plans to extend the classes up to Grade 6. This dream came true in the year 1965. A few years later the school continued to expand to a two-storey building, which is still existent today.

Later on, the school premises was extended with the addition of a new building comprising a hall, a gym, a Computer Lab and some classrooms.  In recent years, a new building was added to provide two new classrooms, a multipurpose room and a turf ground.