St. Paul's Church and Grotto

Rabat, Malta

The Collegiate Church of St Paul is built on part of the site of the Roman city Melite, which included all of Mdina and a large part of present-day Rabat. There were numerous churches built on the site of the present church which dates from the 17th century. In 1336 bishop Hilarius refers to the church as ecclesia Sancti Pauli de crypta, and also mentions the cemetery and the Roman ditch. The present church was built to replace a church which was completed in 1578. The new church was built with funds provided by the noble woman Guzmana Navarra on plans prepared by Francesco Buonamici. The church building commenced in 1653 was completed by Lorenzo Gafà in 1683. Annexed with the church of St Paul is a smaller church dedicated to St Publius which was rebuilt in 1692 and again in 1726 by Salvu Borg.

According to the Book of Acts, Paul and his missionary party were shipwrecked on Malta for three months. During his stay, Paul was bitten by a snake and remained unharmed, prompting the natives to regard him as a god. He later healed the father of the governor of the island, Publius, and many other people.

According to tradition, St Paul eschewed the comfortable surroundings offered to him and chose to live in this subterranean grotto instead. Whether or not this is true, it is possible that he preached from here.

Entrance to the grotto (cave) is through the church of St Publius. The grotto is the place where according to tradition St Paul lived and perched during his three months stay in Malta in 60 A.D. In 1748 Grand Master Pinto donated a statue of St Paul for the grotto. The grotto was visited by two Popes, Pope John Paul II in 1990 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Triq il-Kullegg, Rabat, Malta
See all sites in Rabat

Details

Founded: 1726
Category: Religious sites in Malta

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Silviu Serban (3 months ago)
New Mdina has also beautiful places to see.
Ivan Petrovic (4 months ago)
Restoration in progress, You can only see it from this angle, it is definitely nice to drink a cappuccino across the street.
Sanka Illangakoon (4 months ago)
Another beautiful basilica in the Mdina new town. Visited this while the sunday mass was taking place so we were respectful in observing the architecture without disturbing the prayers. Must do but do avoid sunday mass.
Sandro Agius (6 months ago)
A very welcoming place for all
Beth K (10 months ago)
Facinating building with a lot more to see than you would expect from the outside, well worth the €5 entry fee. The museum details the journey that St. Paul made to and through Malta and the grotto is where he stayed during his time on the island. There is also an extensive network of underground catacombs to explore, as well as large underground WWII shelters. Above ground, the museum is quite extensive and contains a multitude of artwork as well as other artefacts.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.