Cesai, Anthony (15.8.1841-14.12.1914)
Born in Valletta, Cesal was educated in Messina and Malta, where he attended Giacomo Sezza's private school in Sliema, and the Jesuit College in Valletta.
Cesal joined the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in Civitella (Roman Province) in 1857. He studied humanities in Tivoli, philosophy in Velletri, and theology in Viterbo. He was ordained priest in 1864.
He began his priestly life in the missions of Argentina and Bolivia (1864-69), Egypt (1 869-76 and 191 1) and the Holy Land (1884-88). In 1877 the minister general of the Friars Minor nominated him custos (provincial) in Malta, where Cesal engaged all his efforts to promote vocations and to increase the number of friaries. On 13 November 1881 he took possession of the newly-built church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Sliema and in 1899 founded the church and friary of St Anthony in Ghajnsielem.
In 1914 the Maltese Franciscan custody of St John the Baptist was declared province of St Paul th Apostle. Cesal became its first minister provincial.
Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri