Tonna Barthet, Aloysius (4.1.1871-19.9.1917)
Born at Valletta, Tonna Barthet embraced the Franciscan Conventual Order at a very young age. After studying at the Pontifical Institute for the Propagation of Faith, he was ordained priest in Rome in 1895. In 1896, he obtained a doctorate in theology and, two years later the magisterium in theology for his merits in teaching and propagating Christian culture.
In Rome, Tonna Barthet was a vice-rector in the Sixtine Theological College, and then regent of studies and professor of theology. On returning to Malta, Tonna Barthet became a very popular figure for his outstanding talents as a preacher, teacher, and examiner of the clergy, and chaplain to the French fleet.
In 1911 he began the monthly publication Il-Habbar ta' SantAntnin, which continued up to 1969, when it was substituted by Religjon u Hajja the publishing hous'e of the Conventual Franciscans. He also published a number of theological articles in La Diocesi.
For three successive terms (1908-1917), Tonna Barthet was elected provincial superior of the recently-constituted Franciscan Conventual province. He led the province widely and prudently. Some of his paternal letters addressed to the friaries have been published.
Tonna Barthet died unexpectedly during his third term of office while at Marsalfom.
Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri