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from around the Maltese Islands

Main Religious Sites

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha

One of the most important places of Marian devotion in Malta is the Marian Sanctuary and its most important part, the Grotto of the Madonna. According to Bible accounts, the apostle Paul crashed in Malta in 60 BC on his way to Rome. St. Paul stayed on the island for three months during which he visited this place. It is also believed that St. Luke, who accompanied St. Paul, on his trip to Rome, painted a unique picture of the Mother of God on the rock. It is a place frequently visited by pilgrims. In the 5th century, the cave was under the care of the Augustinian Order and was consecrated in 409 by a group of bishops as a church. The sanctuary that we can see today was built in various stages from the end of the 16th to the mid 18th century. For many years, and also today, it has been a place frequently visited by pilgrims.

Ta 'Pinu Basilica

The small basilica, located near the town of Gharb,  Gozo, belongs to the most important temples in the country. The present church was built in 1919-1931, on the site of an earlier temple from the 16th century. The origins of the Shrine of Our Lady of ta' Pinu are unknown.  In 1575 the first inquisitor in Malta Pietro Dusina , who was delegated by  the Pope  visit the small church. He found that  it was in a very bad state. He ordered the church to be closed and demolished. Starting the demolition work, the worker who drove the first pickaxe broke his arm. This was considered a miracle and eventually it was decided to leave the ruins intact.

June 22, 1883, followed by events that were considered  supernatural over time. Carmni Grima, a local girl , coming down from the field where she was worked and passing a chapel near the ruins, heard a female  voice ordering her to enter the chapel , saying ''Come in , Come in''. The girl obediently went inside, said a prayer and heard another voice ordering her to say three prayers, Hail Mary, because she will not be able to visit the chapel ever again. After the apparition, the woman became seriously ill for about a year, confiding in her case to a friend - Francesco Portelli, who stated that in the same place he had similar events, as a result of which his mother was healed. They reported their cases to the local bishop, who officially declared their miracle. This created a pilgrimage movement and provoked the church authorities to build a new, present church.

The temple was completed in 1931, and in 1935 it received the title of minor basilica. In 1958 she was given the current name - Pinu means Filip and commemorates the landowner who in the 16th century gave these lands to the church for the original temple. In May 1990 this place was visited by John Paul II. On 18 April 2010, when visiting Malta, Pope Benedict XVI donated and placed a Golden Rose in front of the devotional image of Our Lady Of Ta' Pinu.

The Mosta Dome

Built in the 19th century, the Church of the Assumption of the Mother of God has the ninth largest unsupported dome in the world and the third largest in Europe. In April 1942, during a raid, the Luftwaffe dropped a bomb that fell through the dome into the interior of the temple, in which there were over 300 faithful. Some people call it happiness, others a miracle, and the third fate did not explode or hurt anyone. Currently, its replica can be seen at the back of the church. Officially, the church is the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary since it was elevated to the rank of a minor basilica by the Vatican in July 2018. National holiday Mosta Basilica feast is the most famous celebration in Malta today.

St. Paul’s Island

Take a trip over to a place full of history with a visit to St. Paul’s Island. Enjoy the wonderful views back towards Bugibba and of the island itself when you set sail for this fascinating spot.

It’s believed that Paul the Apostle was on his way to Rome in 60 AD when his boat was shipwrecked. He and the others on board swam to shore, and were looked after by the Maltese people until they were able to continue with their journey. During his stay, Paul introduced the locals to Christianity for the first time.

When you go on a tour to St. Paul’s Island, you’ll be shown the site of the shipwreck in St. Paul’s Bay, before continuing on to the island. Have your camera at the ready as you pass the sheer cliffs that plunge into the sea, and the huge statue of Saint Paul, which was erected in the middle of the 19th century.

Your boat will stop near the statue so you can walk up the path towards it, and snap some more great pictures. Listen to your guide to hear all about the history surrounding Saint Paul’s in
Malta, including stories of Malta’s governor converting to Christianity.

As you get back on the boat to head back to the mainland, soak up the views both out across the Mediterranean and towards Malta’s northern shores.