Rabat-Malta
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Rabat
St.Paul Parish Collegiate
Built over the ditch of the Roman city right on the grotto where traditionally St.Paul stayed during his three months in Malta in 60 A.D. In 1336 bishop Hilarius refers to the underground church as 'Ecclesia Sancti Pauli de Crypta', and also mentions the cemetery and the Roman ditch. It was already a parish church in 1575 and in 1610 special indulgences were given to visitors to the crypt by Pope Paul V. Several churches have been built on the site both by the diocese and the Knights of St.John. The present church was built with funds provided by the noble woman Guzmana Navarra on plans by F.Bonamico and completed by Lorenzo Gaf in 1683. In 1930 some outside restoration was done. Dedication date: 21st Sept 1726. Below drawing from 1680.
Collegiate church of St.Paul
Drawing from 1680
Annunciation
The church and friary of the Annunciation were built in 1418 with funds provided by the noble Catherine d'Alagona and given to the Carmelites who had just arrived in Malta. They modernized it in 1570. They left the church but demolished the friary in 1662 and used the stones to build a new friary in Mdina. In 1975 the Carmelites returned to their first church and built a retreat house near it. Marriages may be held in the church.
Annunciation Ta' Duna or Ta' Doni
Keen popular devotion to this church was already evident in 1575, when Mass was being celebrated here each Saturday and feast day. About 1644, a new altar was provided by Marietta Bonello. Between 1662 and 1666, Canon Gio. Batt. Zahra rebuilt this church, incorporating it with a site previously occupied by another church dedicated to St John the Baptist. Canon Antonio Famucelli, about 1685, presented this church with a marble statue of Our Lady. Various ex-votos testified the popular devotion which this church enjoyed throughout the 18th century. Nowadays members of the Legion of Mary use it for their meetings.
Annunciation tan-Nigret
This church, close to Gheriexem, stood near another one dedicated to the Transfiguration of Our Lord. In 1636 it was almost destitute of everything, public worship was prohibited there as from 1644 onwards.


Assumption
One of the oldest churches of this dedication could have been the one which formed part of the group of chapels existing within the cemetery around St Paul's Grotto. An ecclesiastical living had also been founded in this chapel. In Dusina's days (1575) it was thoroughly abandoned and he ordered it closed to public worship. But till 1594 it was still functioning.


Assumption ta' Monte Cagliares
This church was built and duly endowed by Bishop Baldassare Cagliares for the benefit of farmers living in the area of the Bishop's estates. He founded here an ecclesiastical living for the same purpose, as recorded in the acts of Notary A.P. Vincella di Santoro on the 27th November 1615 .
Chapel
A small chapel exists in the private heritage residence of 'Casa Bernard' which was recently restored.
Chapel
Adjacent to St.Paul's Collegiate and above St.Paul's Grotto, one can find the Wignacourt Museum containing works of art and archives. This complex also has a chapel which contains two altar-pieces, a Crucifix and a circular sottoquadro of Our lady of Sorrows.
Chapel - Private at Ghar Barka
Built by Joseph Fenech and his son at the turn of the 20th century, it was never consecrated but had a small picture of Our Lady of the Rosary above the altar. Commonly known by locals as the chapel of Our Lady of Pompeii, for a while it was cared by a Franciscan priest and catechism lessons held there. It was closed in the 1950s and is nowadays in use as a store for aminal fodder.
Chapel
In the newly built school for younger students within the Seminary grounds they also built an ultra-modern chapel.
Chapel
In the Convent and School of the Ursuline Sisters.
Chapels
In the Convents of Female Religious in Rabat:
Augustinians; St Dorothy Sisters; Dominicans; Franciscans; Sisters of Charity; Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition; Society of the Sacred Heart; Daughters of the Sacred Heart.
Coronation of Our Lady
In the palace containing the National Archives. This old building was restored including the chapel inside. Before 1762 Mons. B.Rull mentioned it in his report. It is also reported existing in 1866 by A Ferres.
Left Before Right After restoration.
Holy Family
A chapel in Palazzo Castelletti which for a long while was the premises of the L'Isle Adam Band Club used to be dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus and situated in an alcove in one corner of a hall. The band club has now moved to another premises, an old palace called Palazzo Xara and the new chapel is dedicated to the Holy Family.
The chapel of The Sacred Heart of Jesus The chapel dedicated to the Holy Family
Expectation of Birth
A chapel of this unusual dedication and another one of unknown dedication in a villa within the Verdala area were reported existing by A Ferres in 1866.
Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Tal-Virtu'
Built in 1454 on a medieval crypt, (see section on Troglodytic churches), the above grade church was rebuilt in a dome shape in 1731. The Cathedral Chapter used to go there in procession on its feast day during the 17th century. On this occasion the blessing of Malta's harvest used to take place. In 1743, this church suffered considerable damage from an earthquake. It had just then been rebuilt and had been blessed on the 26th December 1733. Its main altar was rededicated to the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin. In 1901 a statue of Christ Redeemer was solemnly unveiled on top of the dome. It again suffered damage in a 1923 earthquake after which the statue was taken to the old seminary. Nowadays it is being restored and the statue is back in place.
Holy Rosary
Till about the 1950's, this chapel, which incidentally was never consecrated, was in use for catechism. Nowadays it serves as a store for hay. It lies a few meters down the road across from The Nativity of Our Lady (Tas-Salib)
Holy Rosary Oratory
This Oratory is situated adjacent to the Church of St Dominic.
Immaculate Conception tas-Settifika
Bishop Alpheran de Bussan on the 7th October 1735 authorized Gio. M. Farrugia to build this church on a site of another one previously dedicated to St Nicholas of Tolentino. Farrugia had already erected an ornate statue of the Immaculate Conception (in a niche which still exists close by) before 1734. The same Bishop blessed this new church on the 3rd December 1736. This tiny chapel has a single altar and is barely a few meters deep. On the facade, it has a very ornate door and instead of a usual cross, on top it has a small statue of the Immaculate Conception, nowadays, sadly, missing its head and an arm.
Immaculate Conception
At Buskett Gardens in the grounds of Verdala Palace, there exists another small chapel in honour of the Immaculate Conception. It was blessed in 1735.
Immaculate Conception Wied Gerzuma
Grandmaster De Paule wanted to build this church, but it was actually built by his successor Manoel de Vilhena in 1731. Marriages may be celebrated in it.
1915
Immaculate Conception & St.Anthony Abbot Ghemieri
This church is the chapel of Gomerino Palace. Since it was built in place of two churches, it kept both their dedications. Built before 1718, it was adopted by Baron Testaferrata.
As it stood in the 1900s
Immaculate Conception & St.Anthony Abbott
Mary mother of the church
A chapel of this dedication can be found in the Depiro Youth Centre run by the MSSP (Missionary Society of St.Paul).


Mother of the Divine Saviour Seminary Chapel
This seminary was built in 1954 as the 'Mater Admirabilis' teacher training college for females. It became a seminary in 1977 when education became a University faculty and the college was vacated. The Chapel kept its dedication.
Main Church below.
Small Chapel above.
Nativity of Our Lady ta' Callus
This rural church was situated at Wied ir-Rum, within the Grand Master's estates. In 1636 it had ceased to function as a place of
worship.


Nativity of Our Lady ta' Campria
In the 1615 pastoral visit, a church of this dedication was mentioned. No other reference to it results from any other records.


Nativity of Our Lady ta' Giezu
The Franciscan Friars Minor came to Malta in 1492 and opened their first friary in Rabat. Grand Master L'Isle Adam had a room reserved for him in the friary. The church was built in 1500 and enlarged in 1757 through contributions from Italy, Spain and Portugal. Marriages may be celebrated in the church. Dedication 31st Oct 1790.
Nativity of Our Lady Mtahleb
Dominating the valley at 'Monte Calibo', an old church was built in the estates of Gio.Vincenzo Castelletti, who endowed it with an ecclesiastical living in 1607. The present building went up in 1687. In the 1950's it was enlarged into a cruciform shape and the dome and belfry added. Marriages may be celebrated in it.
Pre 1950
Nativity of Our Lady ta' Casha
At Gheriexem, Vincenzo Casha, founded this church before 1575. It was rebuilt sometime before 1636 and was held in great veneration by the Rabat people. Various votive offerings testified its popular devotion. After its rebuilding, a new altar piece was commissioned for this church by Dr Ignazio Bonnici. A cemetery adjoins this church.
Nativity of Our Lady ta' Djar iz-Zara
Reported existing in a 1780 list by A Ferres in his 1866 account of the churches on our islands.
Nativity of Our Lady Tas-Salib
This church was built at Fiddien in 1550 and remained closed for many years. It was rebuilt before 1615 by Gregorio Xerri, who together with his wife founded an ecclesiastical living there. Nowadays it is used for prayer meetings.
Nativity of Our Lady tas-Sebbech
This old church, included in Dusina's report of 1575, stood in the estates of Camillo Cumbo and was endowed with an ecclesiastical living known by the church's name itself or ta' Helu and ta' Gebel Sarno. Its altar piece also included the coat of arms of Gio Maria Cassia. The church was closed to worship in 1656.


Nativity of Our Lady Wied ir-Rum
This church is very probably the one mentioned in 1575 then forming part of Matthew Falson's estates. This property, in 1615 belonged to the Assembly of the Conventual Chaplains. In 1636 its altar piece was transferred to Dingli's church since it was closed to public worship


Nativity of Our Lady & St.Nicholas Tax-Xerri Buskett
This small chapel has one altar and was used just for Catechism classes. Lately it lies in a sorry state, with its bell missing from the bell cot and harbouring all sorts of junk inside.
Our Lady of Hope tal-iSperanza
The earliest known church which had such a title stood at Rabat near the one dedicated to St Cataldus. A flight of steps led to this partially troglodytic church. Its titular picture was the Nativity of Our Lady and was included among the churches visited by Mgr Dusina in 1575. Its liturgical life came to an end in 1656, when it was closed to public worship. A stone cross on a column placed in 1714 indicated the site once occupied by this church.


Our Lady of Hodgerita (D'Itria)
Reported existing in A Ferres' list of 1780. By 1866 it was already lost.


Purification of Our Lady ta' Xewxa
It was built by the family Calava' around 1550 at Dejr is-Saf. In 1575, the family of Gioanello Calava' celebrated its feast. This church, situated at the very end of the Bishop's estate on the way to Dingli, was provided with an ecclesiastical living by Euzonia Faison Calava' recorded by Notary Mario Mallia on the 27th August 1591. Already an old structure in 1636, this church was rebuilt in the 17th century and remained functioning throughout the 18th century. Only some ruins remain nowadays.
St.Agatha
The first church was built in 1504 over an ancient crypt leading to a series of catacombs with ancient frescos (see section on Troglodytic & Siculo-Norman churches). It was enlarged in 1670. During the 1900's it was given to the Missionary Society of St.Paul soon after the founding of the society by Mgr. Depiro. In 1912 the belfry was added and in 1932 the Society started building a Motherhouse adjacent to the church.
Pre Vatican II inside
1932
St Agnes
Reported existing in 1780 by A Ferres in 1866.
St.Anthony Abbot Verdala Palace Buskett
Built in 1663 by Grand Master Nicola Cotoner, it is dedicated to St.Anthony Abbott. In 1975 the church was closed to the people of the locality, but was re-opened for their benefit in 1986. The Augustinian friars of Rabat take care of the church. There is a beautiful Mattia Preti painting inside.
St.Bartholomew
The first church on this site was built in 1440 by Costantin Bartolo and restored in 1550. In this church in 1798, Notary Manuel Vitale organised the uprising against the French. Though during WWII it was deconsecrated, nowadays it is open again and used for Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
St.Cataldus San Katald
The present church is one rebuilt in 1739 and is over a crypt and a small catacomb. Nowadays Masses are occasionally celebrated in it. There is a beautiful Favray painting inside.
Early 50s
St.Catherine tad-dahla
This church was built about 1550 and restored in 1639. Marriages may be celebrated in it.
St.Demetrius
Mons Dusina in his 1575 report, writes about a chapel dedicated to St Demetrius existing in the area of Gnien il-Fieres which is very near to Tas-Salib.
St.Dominic & The Blessed Virgin
The Dominican friars came to Malta in 1450 and built their first friary and church in 1675 over a cave used as a church since the 11th century. According to tradition the Virgin Mary had spoken to a hunter who had taken refuge there. Marriages may be celebrated in the church.
St.Dominica
The lost village of Hal Tartani existed around the 15th century and was located within the limits of what is now Rabat close to the Siggiewi border but behind Buskett gardens. Even before 1436 it had a small parish church dedicated to this Saint who was revered by the locals and beyond. The poverty of the locals led to the suppression of this tiny parish around 1539 and the few locals moved on to live in Dingli, abandoning the village and tiny church of Hal Tartani but bringing their devotion to the Saint with them and in fact building another church dedicated to her in Dingli. The village including the abandoned church crumbled to ruin and few can nowadays find the actual location.
St.Francis Stigmatized
The Conventual Franciscans came to Malta before 1347 and built their church and friary near the hospital of St.Francis, which later on came to be known as Santo Spirito hospital. Before the Hospital was built, the church itself served as a hospital for some time with four beds taking two patients in each bed (common in medieval times). In 1640 the friary was rebuilt. Later on in 1701, the church was also rebuilt, by Lorenzo Gaf after being damaged by the 1693 earthquake. In this church a devotion to Our Lady of Good Health continued to develop even after a new painting of the Virgin took the place of the older one. People visiting their sick relatives at the Santo Spirito Hospital and at the Saura hospital used to visit the church to pray the Virgin requesting intercession for their sick relatives. Marriages may be celebrated in the church. Dedication date: 22nd Sept 1908.
St.George
Close to St.Anthony and All Saints around Saqqajja, there used to exist a chapel of St.George according to Bishop Dusina's report in 1575.


St.Joseph
The St.Joseph Oratory is adjacent to the Nativity of Our Lady 'ta' Giezu' and belongs to the confraternity of St. Joseph.


St.Lucy & St.Nicholas Buskett
Originally two churches, hence the dual dedication, the chapel was rebuilt around 1700. It is situated on Verdala hill right behind Buskett's Verdala Palace. Buskett is a wooded area in front of the President's summer palace, which had been a hunting lodge for the nobility.
St.Luke Pastoral Centre Nigret
Due to the increased development of the Nigret locality, the need of a new church was felt; until this church is built a pastoral centre is in use.
St.Mark
The Augustinians came to Malta in 1383 and built their first friary outside the walls of Mdina. It was demolished in 1551 for safety during Turkish attacks on Mdina. In 1555 the Cathedral Chapter gave the friars the church of St.Mark and the area adjacent to it to build their new friary. The present church built on the plans of Glormu Cassar, and the friary, date from 1558. Every 16th January since the time of the Knights, the blessing of animals takes place outside this church. Marriages may be celebrated in the church. Dedication date: 26th June 1906
St.Martin of Tours Bahrija
This Bahrija church was built by Count Navarra in the 16th century. In 1615 it was closed to public worship but in 1643, after a new benefactor was found, it was reopened. By 1684 the church was rebuilt into the existing edifice. Every year since the time of the Knights, a feast full of folklore is held in and around this church.
Old church of St.Martin
St.Martin of Tours Bahrija New church
From around the 1960's, the need was felt for a larger church to accommodate the increasing population so fundraising was started. In 1984 the larger modern church was ready. Marriages may be celebrated in the church.
New church of St.Martin
St.Nicholas
Part of 'Ta' Sawra' which used to be a residential home for Seniors and is now a Pharmaceutical museum, the 1639 round church was built by Dr.Nicola Saura.
St.Publius
Juen Benaguas, who came to Malta in 1630 built the first church over St.Paul's grotto. The church became a collegiate church of the Order of St.John from 1620, and was rebuilt in 1713. In 1962 the church was annexed to the church of St.Paul. It is on the right side at the back.
St.Sebastian
The church was first built in 1477, rebuilt in 1519 and restored in 1751. Nowadays the sisters of Charity take care of it and marriages may be celebrated there.
Visitation
This church stood within the estates of Dr Antonio Cassar and was built by Pietro Paolo Bonello. In 1656, it was closed to public worship, and Bishop Buenos in 1667 decreed its demolishing.