Malta

  • St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta (Part 2)

    When I entered the museum, I thought I ended up in cell phone hell when I saw everyone holding something to their ears. Then I realized they were listening to a taped guide. Phew!!!

  • St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta (Part 1)

    It was built in 1577 to serve as the ecclesiastical headquarters for the Hospitaller Knights of the Order of St. John. Built in the very heart of the newly-founded city of Valletta, its history, works of art and baroque splendor are intimately associated with aspects of chivalry and military valor, all displayed within a context of religious ardor. Its glorious baroque interior reveals a spectacle of rich marbles, precious metals, paintings and decorative ensembles that overwhelm the spectator with an impressive first vision. The gilt and carved sidewalls and “carpet” of inlaid marble memorial slabs are replete with the coat of arms of great European families (NOTE: Women are not allowed to wear high-heeled shoes in the museum. They are asked to exchange their shoes for museum-supplied soft-sold shoes to protect the precious flooring). The cathedral is one of Europe’s finest treasures replete with great works of art. Today, the Co-Cathedral retains its dual role as an important center for devotion and as cultural heritage conservation.

  • Catholic chapel in the Malta Airport.

  • These are life-size, realistic statues I found in a little town in Malta called Florian in, of all places, a police station.

  • St. Paul’s Relics

    The Pillar
    The pillar is a part of the original column on which St. Paul was martyred. Tradition has it that St. Paul was executed in a place outside Rome, where today stands the Church of San Paolo Alle Tre Fontane. In this Roman church is kept a block of marble on which, according to an old tradition. St. Paul was beheaded. In recognition of the services rendered by the church during the outbreak of plague in 1813, Pope Pius VII donated in May 1818, a remarkable portion of the column of the beheading to this church dedicated to St. Paul.

    His Wristbone
    Of particular mention in this chapel is the presence of the marble urn on the altar table in which is displayed, for the veneration of the faithful, the treasured relic of St. Paul’s arm in a gilded and jeweled reliquary.
    This is one of the most precious treasures of this church. It constantly reminds the Maltese of the apostle’s preaching and protection. The relic consists of a portion of the right wristbone of St. Paul.

  • The tiny island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea has a rich history as one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.
    It all started with a shipwreck, as told in the book of Acts 27-28, about 60 AD while the apostle Paul was en route to Rome. Boarding an Alexandrian grain freighter on the isle of Crete, a fierce Nor’easter blew the ship off course. It looked like all was lost.
    With the storm still raging, the ship struck a sandbar, and began to break apart. With the vessel and her cargo a total loss, the nearly 300 men on board swam for their lives. Miraculously, everyone survived.
    And so began a Christian influence in Malta that has continued down through the centuries. Today, it is the most religious nation in Europe — 98 percent of its citizens are members of the Catholic Church.
    Paul is memorialized throughout the island, no where more than in Saint Paul’s bay, where tourists come to visit the Shipwreck Cathedral, and see the spot where most believe Paul’s ship ran aground nearly 2,000 years ago.

  • Good Friday procession in Conspicua, Malta
    The Characters

    The last photo – hanging out with the “bad guys.”

  • Good Friday procession in Conspicua, Malta
    The Floats

  • A main attraction at St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta, in addition to the magnificent cathedral itself, is the two original Caravaggio paintings, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome Writing. Since photo-taking is not allowed in the room where these two masterpieces are displayed, the photos below are courtesy of Google.

    The Beheading of St. John the Baptist – This is the altar piece of the Oratory and was commissioned by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt. It is the largest painting produced by the artist and the only one known to be signed. The Beheading of St John the Baptist was completed in 1608 and depicts the saint at the moment of his martyrdom. The executioner holds down his head whilst the janitor instructs him to finish the job. An old lady clasps her head in horror whilst the young woman, possibly Salome, holds a large charger to receive the head. Caravaggio’s name is scrawled in the blood oozing out of St John’s neck. The painting measures 361cm x 520cm.t.

    St. Jerome Writing – It is probable that Caravaggio was commissioned the painting of St Jerome directly by an important Italian Knight called Fra Ippolito Malaspina. Caravaggio depicts the saint seated on his bed, writing. St Jerome is known for translating the bible from G…[Read more]

  • Celebrating Easter Sunday 2015 in Cospicua, Malta


  • Those Eyes, Those Lips, That Face

    In the St. John’s Co-Cathedral Museum, in a small space leading to the second floor, is a far-from-small work of art by the artist Alessandro Algardi (Bologna, 1598-Rome, 1645) called Christ the Saviour (1639). Description: “The bronze relief of Christ the Saviour was commissioned in 1636. The head formed part of a larger statue which was originally installed in an aedicule (a small shrine) facing the Grand Harbour. In the 19th century, it was modified and placed on the pediment of St. John’s Co-Cathedral.”

    It was quite startling to turn a corner and be confronted by the larger-than-lifesize Face of Christ, then be mesmerized by its beauty.

  • @admin – Norm, I have two videos of Malta taken with my digital camera. Can I post this?
    p.s. Good to be back home. My ASUS worked the moment I got home, alleluia.

    • 2 people like this.
    • Welcome back, Jess! Yes please post it. You’ll need to upload it to YouTube or Vimeo first and then post it here.

  • I will be back in NY tomorrow afternoon if things go as they should. I had planned on spending my last day here by taking a ferry to Siracusa in Sicily, but it did not happen. No ferry goes to Siracusa, only to Potsalo, but not on Mondays so no Sicily for me. Instead, I visited St. Paul’s Church which was open on my third attempt. It is a beautiful but falling down church (a fund-raising campaign is going on) and it has two relics of St. Paul – a part of the white marble pillar where his head was chopped off and a piece of his right arm, both enclosed in gold reliquaries, and many other treasures. I was by myself for more than an hour so I was able to linger as long as I wanted to, took as many photos and had some quiet moments. A group came and went in less than 15 minutes, and I felt sorry for the people who were practically whisked in and out while the leader was reciting his well-rehearsed narration. There is something good about going solo.

    By way of saying goodbye to Malta, I had a nice lunch consisting of fish and fish soup cooked the Maltese way, followed by a cone of gelato. Much as I enjoyed being here, I am already missing my own bed and bathroom and my daily routine.

    Both my main computer and my ASUS notebook are dead so I do not have any idea if…[Read more]

    • 7 people like this.
    • What part of Italy are you visiting, Anna? I heard Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast are breathtaking. My plan to visit them has been duly submitted for approval by my Divine Tour Guide and Almoner. 😉

    • Bergamo! Didn’t the other (one of many) Ana mention that recently as the Italian city with the most number of churches? I haven’t recovered from my Malta trip but if you need someone to carry your bag or massage your feet or wipe the gelato dripping from your lips, I am available. :thumb:

  • I almost swallowed a fly! I finally got to see St. John\’s Co-Cathedral and my mouth was wide open most of the time as I looked at the grandeur, the magnificence, the unbelievable beauty of this cathedral that surely brings honor and glory to our Lord. Too bad I cannot post photos now.

    I had my first triple scoop of gelato, and it felt like I had my own resurrection! :tease:

    • 4 people like this.
    • Because of the cathedral or the gelato? 😉 I haven’t even described my reaction to the two Caravaggios. “The Lord has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” Thank You, Lord.

  • What a good Good Friday I had. I visited some churches in Sliemma, Florian and Valetta and they all had one thing in common. The side altars where the tabernacle is located are all festooned with intricate, colorful flower arrangements and tall candle sticks, and there were people of all ages praying and singing. In many churches, plus one police station (!!!), there were what is called wadji (wadyee), loosely translated – a tableau of the Stations of the Cross, depicted through statues of different sizes (the one in the police station has life-size figures of Jesus with startlingly realistic features, especially the eyes).
    While looking for St. John’s Co-Cathedral, I got lost and I foolishly ignored the locals’ suggestion to take a bus, and I walked and walked, first on concrete sidewalks along the water, then on the dangerously narrow shoulder of a steeply ascending, zigzag road with cars wheezing by inches away. This old coot huffed and puffed, but the excitement of still another mini-adventure energized me, and I made it to the top. I finally found the cathedral as well as the church that memorializes St. Paul’s getting stranded in Malta, but alas, they were closed and were reopening late in the afternoon. That is where I am headed this morning, and this…[Read more]

  • Norm posted an update in the group Group logo of MaltaMalta 2 years, 7 months ago

    Good Friday in #Malta