The main parish church in Zurrieq is dedicated to St.Catherine of Alexandria, and the present building is also one of the most profusely decorated of the area. Already a parish in 1436, it was soon enlarged, until in the 17th century the parishioners initiated a programme to build a much larger church. The various paintings that adorn the church are also amongst the foremost art of the Maltese Islands. Having the Italian painter, Mattia Preti, choosing to have a house in the village, proved to be beneficial to the parish church, as it was exquisitely adorned by this same artist. In fact, this parish church holds about six canvases by the Italian master who was originally invited to Malta to decorate the vault of the Co-Cathedral of St.John. Most important is undoubtedly the titular piece.
There are also two very good processional statues, both the work of Maltese craftsmen. One shows St. Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint and the other is the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The feast of St. Catherine is celebrated in the first week of September whilst the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on the last weekend of July.
Within the village one can see many chapels, of various sizes and importance. The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception is one of those chapels which was rebuilt on the initiative of a member of the Order of St.John, namely Fra J Togores de Valemuola, a member of the Aragonese Langue. This was inaugurated in 1739 and is almost in the shape of a rotunda. Formerly the site was occupied by a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Annunciation, known as Tax-Xaghra, which was closed in 1658. It is also interesting to note that this chapel was built affixed to the Togores Palace, probably the private residence of the same Knight.
Another chapel is that which is dedicated to St. James. This small church started being built in 1725 and was finished in 1731 when it was blessed and inaugurated. In it one can see a very old painting of St John the Baptist. The site was formerly occupied by two chapels that of St John the Baptist and that of St James but when in the 18th century it was decided to rebuild them, the decision was taken to build just one chapel.
Lying further away from the main village centre there are two other hamlets, Bubaqra and in-Nigret. The church that serves the needs of Bubaqra is dedicated to our Lady. Originally there used to be two chapels in the area dedicated to Saints Roque and Sebastian. These were closed down in 1658 but after the plague of 1676 the chapels were rebuilt as one structure, with the dedication being changed to the present one. During the 1960s the chapel proved to be too small to serve the local community, and the chapel was enlarged and adjacent buildings were added to it. It is interesting to note that one of the paintings that can be admired in this small chapel is that of St. Roque, executed in 1599. In 1961 the church itself was enlarged and two sacristies and a hall for the teaching of doctrine were built.
In the same hamlet of Bubaqra there is also the cemetery of Zurrieq. The chapel within is dedicated to St. Leo. There is a painting inside this chapel which is said to have belonged to a small chapel which used to be on the small island of Filfla. After the latter’s deconsecration, the altar piece was transferred to this chapel. In this hamlet one finds the church of Santa Maria which caters for this ever growing community.
Another hamlet that falls within the jurisdiction of Zurrieq is that of Hal Millieri. Nowadays the village only exists in name, but there are still two chapels standing and various excavations and studies have been carried out, giving a lot of information about this particular hamlet. One of the present day chapels is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. This chapel which was closed in 1575 and later re-opened is found opposite to that of Il-Lunzjata. In olden times there was another chapel beside it dedicated to St. Michael which was closed in 1667.
In front of the same chapel there is a stone-cross, a typical village scene which can only be admired in certain villages around the island. Close-by there is another chapel which lies within a boundary wall, which also groups the remains of another chapel, dedicated to the Visitation by the Virgin Mary, nowadays in complete ruins. The chapel which is dedicated to the Annunciation is well known as a number of murals were discovered on its side walls, attesting to interesting artistic activity during the 15th century. The existing chapel which was blessed and inaugurated in 1809 is built on the site formerly occupied by a Roman Temple and then a small private chapel. In 1968 the organisation ‘Din l-Art Helwa’ started restoring this Sicolo-Norman chapel. The XIC Century paintings and murals found in this chapel are unique in the Maltese Islands.
The chapel of St. Bartholomew is small church found in the Xarolla area. A smaller chapel dedicated to the same saint was built in 1482 occupied the same site. In 1775 works to erect a bigger church were taken in hand. In 1784 the church was blessed and inaugurated.
St. Nicholas of Bari is the patron saint of Siggiewi. The St. Nicholas of Bari Parish church was built between 1675 and 1693. Siggiewi was already a parish since 1436. The side aisles, dome and portico were done in the later construction of 1862 when the church was enlarged according to plans drawn up by Dr. Nikol Zammit. Its dedication date is 10th May 1729. The feast is celebrated on the last weekend of June.
The St. Nicholas of Bari Old Parish Church was already standing in another area in 1436 and, although nowadays is in ruins, had the form of a cross. It was mentioned by Mons.Dusina in 1575 during his pastoral visit. A much older smaller chapel dedicated to the Visitation stood within its cemetery. In 1585 orders were given to have the ‘Visitation’ church demolished and its masonry reused for the repairs of the parish church. In 1998 these ruins were classified as a Heritage site and in 2007 the area started to be rehabilitated as an archaeological site.
The Annunciation Church in Fawwara stands on top of the troglodytic church dedicated to St.George visited around 1762 by Mons. B. Rull. This is the picturesque Gebel Ciantar heights area at the entrance to Fawwara. Gio. Paolo Cassar in 1619 built this church on the site of an older one previously dedicated to the Assumption which by 1618 was already described as an Annunciation church. The canonical deconsacration of Cassar’s church followed in 1653 but at the request of its patrons, this church was reopened on the 7th December of that same year. It was rebuilt once more in 1708 by Maria Xeberras and its altar piece included the coat of arms of her brother, Bishop Fra Domenico Xeberras.
The early origins of the church Annunciation tal-Gholja are traceable to 1450 when it was then known as ‘Ta’ Ghemmuna’. Built by the Dean of the Cathedral Chapter, Don Guglielmo Donna, it was rebuilt in 1494 through the bounty of various persons. Sailors had a special devotion towards this church as it stood on Malta’s highest peak since it was the first landmark they saw on approaching the island from the South West. Knight Fra Giacomo Christoforo Andlau, sometime before 1634, presented this church with a new altar piece. This Marian shrine was held in high esteem by the people of Malta. On its feast day, a procession led by the Siggiewi parish priest wound its way to this church. It was rebuilt under Grand Master Gregorio Caraffa during the Bishopric of Fra Girolomo Molina between 1680 and 1681, and was consecrated by Bishop Fra Paolo Alpheran de Bussan on the 3rd June 1749. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1856, it was built again a year later.
The Annunciation ta’ Hal Kbir – tal-Knejjes is situated in the neighbourhood then known as ‘ta’ Petra Nigra’. In 1598 this church was almost in total ruins. A pious burthen provided for the celebration of five Marian feasts, namely the Nativity, Annunciation, Visitation and Purification. This Annunciation church was still functioning in 1608.
The Assumption ta’ Cwerra church in Siggiewi’s main square was already very well established in 1575. Margaret Tabone in 1621 presented it with a new altar piece. Some years before 1740, the people of Siggiewi and the Dominican Fathers of Vittoriosa, who were the administrators of its bequests, decided to rebuild it as it had been closed to worship by Bishop Alpheran in 1736. It was rebuilt in 1742 but over the centuries, certain parts of the building deteriorated badly. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, after Vespers, a procession from the parish church to this church used to be held. A complete restoration of this church was undertaken lately.
The Assumption ta’ Cabra church in 1575 abutted on a similar one dedicated to St.Margaret, and was duly endowed for its mainterance. The records of the 1594 Pastoral Visit mention it needed immediate attention on account of its sad state. In 1615 Bishop Cagliares found it in ruins, and during the following Pastoral Visit held in 1618 ordered its formal canonical deconsecration.
Although the Assumption ta’ Ganni church was already functioning and provided for by 1575, later it was in dire need of repairs and in 1615 was on the point of being closed. In 1618, it is stated that it had already suffered this fate. It was definitively closed to all form of public worship in 1653.
Bartolomeo Mauro built and endowed the Assumption ta’ Harramia church. The records of Notary Giuliano Muscat of 1575 give the details of Mauro’s bequest. Further endowments were provided on the 16th April 1592. This donation was registered by Notary Nicholas Xiberras. After this church was closed to worship, during the 1692-98 Pastoral Visit, it was duly substituted by an altar in the new parish church.
Near the ruins of the old Parish Church at Hax-Xluq stood the church called Santa Maria La Grande, to distinguish it from Santa Maria la Piccola. Here, in 1513, Bartolomeo Buttigieg founded an ecclesiastical living known eventually as ‘Ta’ Bajdun’. The burthens of a number of rural churches, closed down in 1658, were transferred to this church. In 1686, the people of Hax-Xluq insisted to have a priest attached to this church to care after their pastoral needs. This request was granted them by Bishop Cocco Palmieri.
Called ta’ Dun Nardu, the Assumption ta’ Hax-Xluq – La Piccola church was built by Zaccharia Caruana and was originally dedicated to the Visitation. His brother Dun Leonardu Caruana had left a bequest for the endowment of this church. Zaccharia tried to have it transferred to Siggiewi’s parish church and Mgr Dusina in 1575 acceded to his request. The church at Hax-Xluq however continued to function and was rededicated to the Assumption. Known also as La Piccola (the small one) to distinguish it from the other one La Grande (the large one), it was closed to public worship in 1658.
Mgr Dusina in 1575 sanctioned the definite closing down of the Assumption church in the Lapsi area.
The Assumption church at San Gwann which abutted on the one dedicated to the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, was already sufficiently endowed in 1575. Though no worship was to be allowed in it after 1615, it remained open till 1736. On the 14th May of that year Bishop Alpheran de Bussan definitely closed it, prohibiting any form of public worship in it.
The Assumption ta’ Zenga or Zengha church stood in the estates of Mario Ciantar. Bartolomeo Aquilina had provided some endowments for its maintenance in 1571 as recorded by Notary de Abela. In 1575 Mons.Dusina found it almost in total ruins, so he deconsecrated it. However in 1598 we find it still functioning. Its canonical deconsecration was renewed both in 1608 and in 1618.
The Beheading of St. John Baptist church was built in 1730 together with a residence for the priest in charge and a Capuchin hospital. The church was administered by the Capuchins during WWII. Nowadays it is used for Perpetual Adoration Monday to Saturday.
In 1962 the Malta Catholic Action took over the Navy Rest Camp at Siggiewi to use as a summer camp for children attending Catholic Action Centres. In 1965 Mons.M.Azzopardi started building on the site, three seperate homes for disabled persons: Villa Mons.Gonzi for children, Villa Papa Luciani for semi-independent persons, and Villa Papa Giovanni for adults. He also took care to build a chapel, Divine Providence , where Mass is celebrated daily. The complex is called Providence House.
Built 1913 the Holy Family oratory was for a while the meeting place for the female section of M.U.S.E.U.M. until it was hit by enemy bombing in a WWII air raid.
The Holy Trinity is a pastoral centre recently built for the spiritual welfare of the population in a new area that is expanding in Siggiewi.
Near the St.Matthew church in Siggiewi’s main square, there was the Nativity of Our Lady church mentioned in 1615 and closed to public worship in 1667. Mariano Bonello and his heirs were in duty bound to look after its needs.
A Nativity of Our Lady church at Fawwara, was closed to public worship in 1621.
At Hal Tabuni (an old village now absorbed by Siggiewi), a church dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady ta’ Hal Tabuni is mentioned in 1598 records, where it is stated that Giovanni Muxi made a donation to this church recorded by Notary Giuliano Muscat and duly registered at the Episcopal Curia on the 2nd December 1586. In 1658, it was closed to public worship.
An old Nativity church at Ta’ Saliba, in the ‘ta’ Mwiegel’ neighbourhood is mentioned. Mario Attard in 1615 was bound to provide for the celebration of its feast. In 1658 this church was deconsecrated.
This church of Our Lady of Carmel in Fawwara was first built in 1616 by Girolama Ciantar wife of Martino Vella in a garden known as ta’ Gebel Ciantar. Its administration later passed on to the Confraternity of Our Lady of Charity of St.Paul’s church Valletta. The Confraternity was heir to the foundress and took care to rebuild this church during the 1750s
An outdoor chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Consecration at Girgenti, not sanctioned by the ecclesiastical authorities was installed by Guza Mifsud from Siggiewi in the middle of the family property. She claimed to have seen Our Lady who told her to pray for sinners. This happened in the middle of the 20th century and Guza drew a picture of what she allegedly saw and named her Our Lady of Girgenti. There is also a small chapel with the original drawing in the farmhouse building.
The church of Our Lady of Providence is situated where once there was the village of Hal Kbir. In 1575 Pietro Xara was bound to provide for the celebration of its feast. Its founder, Andrea Xara, was buried in this church, which was known as ‘Santa Maria l-gdida’ (the new St.Mary). It was closed down during the Pastoral Visit of 1658, but was reopened on the 13th August of the following year, at the insistence of the people of Hal Kbir and dedicated to The flight to Egypt. In 1737 various repairs were deemed to be essential and so Bishop Alpheran ordered its canonical deconsecration and its closure. The present church was built in 1747 and blessed in 1753. In 1815 a portico was added to the church to stregthen it after it suffered damages through lightning and an earthquake. It has an unusual set of statues around the rim of the dome.
Our Lady of Trapani church built in 1645 is closely linked with the Testaferrata family. It was founded by Giacomo Testaferrata de Robertis and his wife Theodora who endowed it for its maintenance and the celebration of its feast to be held on the 15th August. The Vice-Chancellor of the Order of St John, Fra Gio. Francesco Abela, a relative of the founders, also left some bequests to this church. It is highly probable that the presence of this church has influenced the topography of this neighbourhood commonly known as Ta’ Trapna. The church was already deconsecrated and closed in 1866 when A. Ferres lists all the churches in the islands of Malta and Gozo.
St.Agatha chapel was also referred to as Santa Maria ta’ Bjar Gabrun. Its formal canonical deconsecration was decreed in 1658.
Built in the 17th Century the St.Blaise church replaced an older medieval chapel. Slaves captured from the surrounding farming communities often came back, once freed, to give thanks for their freedom. A large number of old graffiti exist on its outer walls hinting to this fact. This church is a benefice of the Cathedral of Mdina. Recently the Cathedral Chapter entrusted it to the Social Action Movement for use in their retreats
The Girgenti palace was built by Inquisitor Onorato Visconti in 1625 and its chapel dedicated to St.Charles Borromeo by Inquisitor (later Cardinal) Angelo Durini in 1763. From 1625 up till when the French regime suppressed the Inquisition in 1798, Girgenti was the summer residence of Malta’s Inquisitors. The Maltese Inquisition had, as one of its principal tasks, keeping the peace between the two religious powers on these islands, namely the Bishop and the Grand Master of the Order of St.John. During the British period this palace served briefly as the summer residence of the Lieutenant Governors of Malta. In WWII it was used as one of the stores for the National Museum’s collection of antiquities and art. Later it fell into total disrepair and after that was partially restored between 1966 and 1967. The church and palace again fell into disrepair in the 1970s but were finally fully restored between 1988 and 1990, when the palace became the country residence of the Prime Ministers
In 2007 Archbishop Paul Cremona inaugurated a chapel dedicted to St.Gorg Preca the first newly canonized Maltese Saint, during a Mass celebrated at Komunita’ Santa Marija, the residential rehabilitation centre for drug abuse, run by ‘Agenzija Sedqa’ in Siggiewi.
Built in the 17th century on top of a hill on the outskirts of Siggiewi, the church of St.Lawrence was deconsacrated in 1859 by Bishop Gaetano Pace Forno and nowadays used as a private residence.
The ‘Kamrun’ (big room) started as a small church dedicated to St.Leonard built in the early 17th Century. Most probably it was built in thanksgiving by Duminku Tabone when he was freed after four years as a slave under the Muslims. In 1637 it had already been deconsecrated and then blessed again by Bishop Balaguer. In 1719 it was in a state of ruin and permission was acquired by the people of Siggiewi to build a storehouse for the festa decorations in its place since this was a convenient spot near the newly built Parish Church.
St.Margaret’s church was built in 1707, but nowadays it does not exist anymore because it was dismantled to make way for traffic. A small niche marks the place where it once stood.
St.Mark’s church was built in 1608 on the site of an earlier church. Mass is still celebrated here nowadays and the Legion of Mary members use it for their meetings.
In his 1575 pastoral report, Mons.Dusina lists a Visitation chapel on the left hand side of Siggiewi’s old parish church within its cemetery. In 1585 orders were given to have it demolished and its masonry reused for the repairs of the parish church.
When the Bishop of Malta Mons. Balthasar Cagliares was on a Pastoral Visit at Zurrieq the Qrendi people living a bit far from Zurrieq parish presented a request so that Qrendi would be separated from Zurrieq to become a new Parish. After studying the proposal the Bishop granted the wish and made Qrendi a New Parish on the 15th February 1618. When Qrendi was declared a parish the first thing was to consacrate it to the Assumption of our Lady . Instead of two other small churches a new church started to be built in 1620, which took almost 50 years to build and was ready in 1679.
Again it became too small as the population started to grow steadfastly so the parish priest Fr.Gio Marija Camilleri prepared to build another parish church which started to be built in 1685. The best place and the best architect of those days Lorenzo Gafa’ were chosen. The result was an imponent church the shape of a Latin Cross which took twenty seven years to build. Mons. Achille Ferris wrote that the Qrendi Church is one of the most beautiful and perfect churches around. It was ready in 1712 and was consecrated by Bishop Labini on the 13th October 1782. This church is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady.
In the church there are ten altars, and an Italian marble pavement which was made in 1955 by designer Manwel Buhagiar. The church boasts of various paintings that have been commissioned along the years. The main painting depicting the Assumption of our Lady was painted in 1917 by the famous artist Giuseppe Cali’ (1846-1930). Much recent ones are the paintings of the ceiling and cupola which depict the life of Our Lady, and others of biblical personages like the four paintings of four famous women, Ruth, Abigail, Deborah, and Rachel which were made in 1977 by Paul Camilleri Cauchi.
A most interesting one lies on top of the entrance door which was made in 1972 and depicts the historical episode of the Second World War when a Convoy of ships which were the Port Chalmers, Rochester Castle, Melbourne Star, Brisbane Star and Ohio entered Grand Harbour half sunk with provisions, in time to feed and provide for a derelict and starving population. This happened on the 13th, 14th and 15th August, Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption which was considered a miracle. These paintings were made by the Maltese Knight Paul Camilleri Cauchi , a famous Gozitan artist. All these latter works were made between 1971 to 1996 during the period that Father Karm Attard was Parish Priest, and will be remembered for making the church, one of the most beautiful in Malta .
The statue which can be found at the Parish of Qrendi, which is exposed to the public in the niche of the present statue during the fortnight of the feast in August, is one of a very few statues sculpted in wood by a Maltese Artist in the 17th Century. A long curving figure of the Virgin Mary synonym with Gothic art of an era long gone, it is classified as one of a few examples of this kind of Maltese art and named by critics of art as a very rare treasure of great artistic value. This statue used to be taken out in procession about 350 years ago on the feast of The Immaculate Conception in Cospicua on the 8th of December.
When a new statue was made, it was given to the Parish of Qrendi by a Cospicuan Parish Priest of Qrendi, Dun Anton Mizzi. It used to be taken out in procession on the Assumption Day in Qrendi on the 15th August . So it served as the Titular Statue of St Mary of Qrendi as of Cospicua. This statue was taken from Qrendi to Cospicua for a pilgrimage on the 25th June 2003 as a special attraction, to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the Coronation of the Immaculate Conception of Cospicua on the 25th June 1905, as it was the oldest Titular statue of the Parish of Cospicua. A procession with the titular statue is held on the 15th of August whilst the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes takes place during the first weekend of July.
The Annunciation church at Hal Lew was already functioning in 1575 but 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.
The Annunciation church at Tax-Xaghra 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.
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. This was dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady. 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.
The chapel Our Lady of Grace at Tal-Maqluba 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
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
The church of Our Saviour was rebuilt in 1658 on the site of an earlier church and is being 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.
The church of St.Anne was built as a thanksgiving vow after the siege of 1565. Nowadays it is open only on its feast day on the 26th of July and for other spiritual needs.
Built in 1526, the chapel dedicated to St.Catherine Tat-Torba 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 dedicated to St. George 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.
Two adjoining churches were built on the edge of the Maqluba depression. The tiny building on the left side is the original Chapel of St.Matthew and is from the 15th century and has space for only 16 people. The large church building was raised 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.
Zebbug was a parish before 1436, but the first church dedicated to St. Philip was built earlier with the money donated by the Sicilian Filippo in 1380 and finished in 1412. The present church was built between 1599 and 1632 and enlarged by Tommaso Dingli in 1660. The church boasts a titular painting by Luca Garnier and two spectacular murals by the great Maltese painter of the 18th century from the Favray school, Francesco Zahra. The statue of St. Philip a work by sculptor Luigi Fontana was completed in 1864 and is considered as the most beautiful of its genre in the country. The side aisles were added in 1913. The Dedication date of this church is 13th May 1729. The feast of St. Philip is celebrated on the second Sunday of June. The secondary feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on the last weekend of July. The parish church of Zebbug also holds a Good Friday procession along the streets of the town with characters from the Bible and statues depicting moments from the passion of Christ.
The church dedicated to the Annunciation, built before 1575, was the venue of a procession which used to leave the parish church on the feast of the Annunciation, when Mass was then celebrated by the parish priest. Though ordered to be closed down by the Bishop in 1658, in 1667 it was still in use. Fr Julius Zammit, nephew of Fr Mariano Zammit, rebuilt this church between 1693 and 1699. The heirs of Fr Mariano (who was buried in this Church), provided a bequest for its maintenance recorded in the acts of Notary Benedetto Vassallo in 1696. It is well frequented by the public though Mass is celebrated here only once a year.
The church of the Assumption at Ta’ Galtier, which stood on the road leading to Mdina, was founded and endowed by Giacomo Agius before 1575. Its name is derived from the nickname of Pietro Agius, a relative of the founder. In 1667 this church was canonically deconsecrated.
One of the architectural jewels by Lorenzo Gafa is the Assumption church at Ta’ Mamo. First built in 1514 by Xmun Mamo, this church was rebuilt in 1685, the belfry being added in 1845.
A small and old Assumption church at Ta’ Mania was built after the plague of 1592-93 near the one dedicated to St.Roque . It was rebuilt between 1598 and 1608 through an endowment by Giovanni Pisani. Though it was closed for liturgical worship in 1658, it continued to function, as Cleric Saviour Balzan promised to look after its needs. In fact, in 1685 he himself bequeathed an endowment for its upkeep, the deed being recorded by Notary Antonio Pullicino. This church had just then been rebuilt on a plan prepared by Lorenzo Gafa. Its altar piece was painted by Paschal Buhagiar. It was still standing in 1866 according to A. Ferres’ book.
In 1575, popular devotion looked after the needs of the church dedicated to the Assumption in Hal Muxi. In 1608, its structure was too old and its closing down was imminent. Some repairs must have been carried out because it continued to function. Angelo D’Amato, sometime before 1658, made an endowment for the celebration of the seven feasts of Our Lady in this church, and a few years later presented a new altar piece. By 1723, a new church had been built replacing the old one. Nowadays mass is celebrated everyday here.
The Cenacolo or Cenacle is a Perpetual Adoration Chapel and is open 7.00am to 9.30pm daily.
Ms Angela Xuereb left her farmhouse property in Hal Mula to be used for religious purposes. A chapel was built at the site by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1980. It serves the population of the area.
Built in 1677 by Giovanni Azzopardi, the Immaculate Conception chapel at Ta Scamardi it is also known as the Annunciation. Together with his son, Fr Gio Paolo, Giovanni provided it with sufficient endowment for its maintenance as detailed in the records of Notary Benedetto Vassallo in 1677. It is built in a beautiful Doric style with a magnificent ceiling, but sadly nowadays it just serves as a store for festa decorations.
The church commonly known as Our Lady of the Abandoned was built in 1758 by Father Paschal Azzopardi in Hal Dwien, now part of Zebbug. He also endowed it with an ecclesiastical living in 1758. This deed was recorded by Notary Girolamo Bonavita. Inside one can find the remains of St.Innocent. This church belongs to the family of Manduca Azzopardi
The Our Lady of the Angels chapel was built by Fr.M.Buttigieg on G.I.Psaila’s plan and finished in 1787, this church was blessed by Bishop Labini.
In 1575, Angelo Attard, the owner of a field in the area known as Ta’ Godor in which a church dedicated to the Assumption was situated, looked after its needs. In 1615 it was falling in ruins and were it not for the intervention of Simon Attard, who offered to rebuild it, it would have been totally obliterated. This work was completed before 1621, and from this date onwards its dedication was changed to Our Lady of Grace, however its feast, till 1776 continued to be celebrated on the 15th August. During that year permission was given for the feast to be held on the 8th September as the Assumption feast was commemorated both at the parish church itself and in another small church at Zebbug . Near the church is a statue of Our Lady dating from 1843.
Fr Leonardo Bonavia was the founder of a church dedicated to the Visitation, built before 1575 in the area known as Ta’ Cassis Nardu. AIthough Bishop Fra Tomaso Gargallo sanctioned its canonical deconsecration in 1588, it was still open to public worship till 1658. During that year however it was definitively closed. The parish priest and members of the clergy, during the Pastoral Visit of 1736, requested the Bishop to authorize its rebuilding, they also presented a plan for the new church. On giving his approval, Bishop Alpheran agreed also that this new church was to be dedicated to Our Lady of Light, its feast being held on the second Sunday of November. The existing church dates from 1738 and was blessed in 1740. In WWII some damage was caused to the belfry but it was repaired soon after the war. This church is held in great veneration by the locals who see to all its needs.
This octagonal church dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows was built by the Bonnici Mallia family in 1740 and has the title of Basilica. Mass is celebrated here on each of the seven feasts of Mary.
About 1722, Balthassar Debono built a church dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows on a site previously occupied by another church dedicated to the Assumption. He also endowed it with an ecclesiastical living providing for its upkeep as detailed in the records of Notary Ignatius Debono on the 5th November 1714. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows was held here on the Friday preceding Palm Sunday, while on each first Friday of the month a special service including a sermon used to take place.
A church, in honour of Our Lady Security from the Fire of Hell in this unusual title was built at Zebbug through the bounty of Fra Marino Buttigieg who also endowed it with an ecclesiastical benefice which received ecclesiastical approval in 1778. The Sodality of Priests, established at Zebbug, was left in charge of this church as specified in its founder’s last will.
Nicholas Galea endowed this church dedicated to the Purification of Our Lady in Hal Dwien and looked after its needs in 1575. On its feast day, the parish priest, clergy and people of Zebbug used to go in procession to this church, where Mass was celebrated. When it was closed to public worship, its altar piece was transferred to the parish church where, according to documents, it was still hanging in 1672.
The Sanctuary, which lies on the north side of Zebbug on the road to Rabat is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and opened in 1986 for the spiritual welfare of the population in the area,.
Built in 1430 and rebuilt in 1675, the wayside chapel dedicated to St. James lies in a country road half way to Mdina
Built in 1794, the St.Joseph chapel is part of a small hospital for elderly people in Zebbug. Later on the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart became responsible for the running of the hospital which also included an orphanage. Today it is the home for a small number of elderly women. For a retirement home the chapel’s actual name of The Death of St Joseph sounds a little incongruous.
St.Roque’s chapel was built during the plague of 1592. This chapel is 24ft long and was in use up to 1959. In 1980 it was given to the heritage society ‘Din l-Art Helwa’ which took care to restore it and change it into a cultural museum for the town.
In 1575 Nicholas Vassallo, who owned the garden within which the church dedicated to the Visitation in Wied Qirda was built, was duty bound to look after its needs. The conventual chaplain Fra Gio. Fee Abela, had particular devotion towards this church. In 1621, it was stated that he used to visit it very frequently and provided for its maintenance. Sometime before 1634 a new altar piece was made. Cleric Bartolomeo Magro rebuilt this church in 1675. It contains a statue of St.Anthony which is very popular with the population. Its founder was buried in it in 1722.