Maundy Thursday is almost here, so churches and chapels all around the islands are preparing to welcome flocks of visitors as they go about their seven visits (seba’ visti in Maltese).
This historic tradition dates back to the early Roman times, when pilgrims used to visit the seven basilicas as a form of penance.
Thousands of years later, this tradition is still being practised in many Roman Catholic communities around the world – including Malta!
So, if you happen to be in Gozo this Holy Week and you aren’t sure how to go about your seven visits, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some lesser-known churches and chapels you can check out this Maundy Thursday:
Lourdes Chapel, Ghajnsielem
Start off your seven visits at the Lourdes Chapel in Ghajnsielem, which you can spot right after you get off the Gozo Channel.
Built in the Gothic style, this chapel dates back to 1893 and will serve as a perfect first spot for your mini pilgrimage.
Sant Antnin ta’ Padova Church, Ghajnsielem (Tal-Patri)
This church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padova, is only a few minutes away from the Lourdes Chapel by car.
Although not the main church of the locality, this holy site is still quite grand. The Saint Anthony of Padova Church is commonly known as Tal-Patri by the locals since it’s home to Franciscan monks.
Saint Martha’s Chapel, Victoria
Make your way to the Gozitan capital of Victoria (Rabat) and visit the quaint chapel dedicated to Saint Martha.
The lonesome chapel stands in front of the old cemetery and dates all the way back to 1866. It was built by a Maltese couple to thank God for curing them of Cholera.
Ta’ Kana Chapel, Victoria
Right around the corner from Saint Martha’s Chapel, you’ll find another chapel, called Ta’ Kana.
This spot is the perfect place of worship if you’re looking for a more modern chapel.
Madonna Tal-Grazzja, Capuchins, Victoria
After visiting Ta’ Kana, drive up to the neighbourhood of the Capuchins, which is home to the Madonna tal-Grazzja church.
This place of worship can be found right at the start of the main road leading to Marsalforn, which will take you to the next spot on the list…
Saint Paul’s Church, Marsalforn
Saint Paul’s church is situated right in the heart of Marsalforn – a quaint fishing village. As its name suggests, this spot pays tribute to the time when a shipwreck directed Saint Paul to our islands, thus introducing Christianity to Malta.
The church was built in the 14th century, making it both a wonderful place of worship as well as a key piece of local history.
Saint Mary’s Church, Zebbug
Last but surely not least, drive off to the neighbouring village of Zebbug, whose northern-most point houses the picturesque Saint Mary’s Church.
This site’s interior is largely covered in onyx, making it a must-visit attraction in Gozo. This church is also home to so-called miraculous altarpiece depicting the Immaculate Conception. Many locals believe that when a catastrophic event is about to happen, Mary’s face turns yellow.
What’s your favourite Gozitan place of worship?
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