Edizzjoni TAU

The Franciscan Order celebrated the 800 anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis of Assisi in 1982. For that occasion the Friars Minor in Malta took care to introduce various initiatives aimed at giving a new thrust to the Franciscan presence and witness in the Maltese islands, on a more professional basis. Such initiatives had the aim to continue the praiseworthy and more traditional efforts of the Maltese Franciscans in past decades. Among the new initiatives born in the years 1982-1984 one could mention the Franciscan Visits to parishes («Żjara Franġiskana»), which started on 1 April 1984 in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, and the «Servizz Nisimgħek» telephone counselling service, introduced on 1 May 1984. These apostolates continued to flourish, except for the telephone counselling service which had to be abandoned after some years because of lack of personnel. The most innovative among the initiatives introduced in 1982, however, was the establishment of a publishing house of the Maltese Franciscan OFM Province.

It was Fr. Raymond Camilleri OFM who, on 4 October 1982, officially inaugurated the TAU Edition («Edizzjoni TAU»). His idea was that of helping Maltese Franciscans to publish their works in the fields of biblical studies, historical research and literature. The Maltese Franciscans had already some prominent figures in these fields in the local scene, such as Fr. Marjanu Vella OFM, a well-known poet.

From that moment the Maltese Franciscan Province had a unique opportunity to dedicate its energies in a more professional way in favour of the apostolate of the printed word, in a time when printing was still the most prominent means of information and formation, before the onset of contemporary mass-media in the fields of digital and electronic information.

The aims of Edizzjoni TAU were explained at the very beginning during a meeting of the editorial board, chaired by Fr. Raymond Camilleri, on 24 November 1983. Edizzjoni TAU had to be a publishing house of the Maltese Franciscan Province, specializing mainly in two kinds of publications, namely biblical publications regarding the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land, and publications in Franciscan spirituality and culture, with the aim of providing material for the ongoing formation of Franciscan friars, sisters and seculars.
From the very beginning, Edizzjoni TAU took care to continue the publication of the only biblical review in Maltese at that time, which was known by the name «Leħen l-Art Imqaddsa» (Voice of the Holy Land), and which had been first published in 1955. The same review continued to be published in a new format, with the new title «L-Art Imqaddsa» (The Holy Land), in collaboration with the Franciscan Commissariat of the Holy Land in Malta.
In the field of Franciscan studies, Edizzjoni TAU introduced a new quarterly review of Franciscan culture, called «Spirtu u Ħajja» (Spirit and Life) in April 1986.

The directors of Edizzjoni TAU during these last 25 years have been Fr. Raymond Camilleri (1984-1997), Fr. George Bugeja (1997-2005), Fr. Joseph Magro (2005-2011), and Fr. Raymond Camilleri (since 2011).