|Assumption Parish Church
In 1575, the main church of Qrendi was dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady. Rebuilt in 1594, it was rededicated to the Assumption. Qrendi became a parish in 1618 and this church was adopted as its first parish church. The people of the village wanted to build a larger church so they dismantled this church and another one of St.Francis close by, and in their place built a church finished in 1655. The present structure was built between 1688 and 1713 on the plans of Lorenzo Gafa'. Its dome and sacristy were completed between 1723 and 1729. It is interesting to note that Qrendi had a wooden gilded statue of Our Lady as far back as 1686. On the feast of the Assumption it was brought out for the veneration of the people. Dedication date: 13th Oct 1782
|Annunciation Hal Lew
This church, already functioning in 1575 was closed to public worship in 1667. In 1759, after it had deteriorated and all but disappeared, Bishop Rull ordered to have a stone cross set up on its site.
This church was included as an Assumption church in Mons.Dusina's 1575 report. It was endowed for its feast in 1594 by Brini Farrugia. Four years later, namely in 1598, its titular feast was the Annunciation. It was eventually closed to worship in 1658.
Nativity of Our Lady
During the Great Siege of 1565, Giovanni Schembri promised to build a church if he and his family would suffer no harm throughout those perilous days. He maintained his promise. The records of Notary Guiliano Briffa dated 7th September 1585 (the vigil of the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady) testify the fulfillment of this vow. The church he built was included in the list of churches visited by Bishop Gargallo in 1598.
Nativity of Our Lady
In 1762 it is mentioned existing within the then Qrendi limits in a report. It was more commonly known as Sta.Veneranda.
Our Lady of Grace Tal-Maqluba
The chapel was built in 1658 overlooking the Maqluba depression. Originally it was dedicated to Our Lady of Victory. In 2007 it was restored. Sometime before 1658, Angelo Spiteri built a church dedicated to Our Lady of Grace in the Has Sajjied neighbourhood within the limits of St Matthew's valley. On the 26th November 1656 he made a bequest on its behalf. Its feast was held on the 8th September, but in 1781 it was transferred to the following Sunday to coincide with the feast of the Name of Our Lady.
|Before Restoration||Our Lady of Grace tal-Maqluba RESTORED|
|Our Lady of Mercy Hal Lew
The first church was built in the 13th century in the old village of Hal Lew which then formed part of the parish of Zurrieq. Gioanello Psaila, who in 1575 lived in a house adjacent to this church, had to provide for its feast. From 1636 onwards, though its wooden altar piece was described as representing Our Lady of Grace, it acquired considerable prominence. The portico in front has a set of niches with statues of Saints. Every year a pilgrimage used to leave Qrendi for the church just before its feast day on the Sunday after the 8th September. Music was also included on this occasion as far back as 1663. Rebuilt about 1650 it was from this time that it was definitely styled as Our Lady of Mercy. Throughout the 18th century and even afterwards veneration towards this church continued to flourish and this is testified from the various votive offerings which covered its walls.
Rebuilt in 1658 on the site of an earlier church by Benedittu Camilleri, structural changes were made to the chapel in 1876. It was used as a dormitory by bombed out refugees in WWII, later as an extension of the primary school and still later utilized for meetings by the members of a Charismatic group and others. Lately it has been restored and is now being used for Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
This church was built as a thanksgiving vow by Giovanni Schembri after the siege of 1565. He left monies and benefices for its upkeep. Nowadays it is open only on its feast day on the 26th of July and for other spiritual needs. It was restored in the last few years.
Built in 1526, this chapel is situated just outside the village. In 1624 it was deconsecrated and demolished while a stone cross was raised in its place but soon after, a new chapel was raised by Benedittu Camilleri a little way from the original, together with a small cemetery. This chapel was restored in 2001.
Close to Ghar Lapsi road a church of this dedication was documented in 1575 as being in a derelict state. It used to belong to the monks of San Nicolo d'Arena of Catania Sicily as from 1363. Nearby is a small Christian necropolis.
At the old Guarena Palace which dates from before the 16th century, Bishop Dusina in his 1575 report, mentioned the existence of a chapel dedicated to this saint.
Two adjoining churches of the same dedication were built on the edge of the Maqluba depression. The tiny building on the left side is the original Chapel of St.Matthew is from the 15th century and has space for only 16 people. The large church building was finished in 1682 and has a staircase to the older chapel. The titular, nowadays kept in a safe place, was painted by Mattia Preti. In 1942 the larger church suffered extensive bomb damage and some of the soldiers billeted there were seriously wounded. Right after the war, it was rebuilt and the two small belfries added.
|Churches of St.Matthew
Above: The churches nowadays
Top Left: The smaller church
Left: Smaller church inside
Top Right: Pre WWII
Right: The larger church inside
Below: Plans of both churches