Of spiderwebs, a cave & corsairs: the Maltese legend of L-Ghar ta’ Wied Speranza in Mosta
As an island that has had many conquerors, we’ve got quite the rich history that has been passed on through many generations. And, we must say, the Maltese are pretty good storytellers. Maltese legends are a big thing in local culture, some of which are even learnt about in school (at least back in our day). One such legend, and a popular one at that, was L-Ghar ta’ Wied Speranza in Mosta.
As the legend goes (as per the famous book Naghru l-Leggendi Maltin by Guido Lanfranco), a young girl was gathering grass in a field in Mosta when she heard voices in the distance. Two corsairs were hiding and started chasing the girl. She was far from home and needed to find a hiding place, so she went into a nearby cave.
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She began praying to Our Lady to save her. A spider appeared and began weaving a web at the cave’s entrance and once the corsairs arrived, they just kept going – because how could she be in there if the web was still intact?
Gigi Zammit via Gigi’s Antiques & Collectables / Facebook
In his commentary, Guido Lanfranco shares that the chapel at Wied Speranza was completed in 1761. It’s well taken care of, and a feast is celebrated in November. The infamous cave is situated underneath the chapel and there’s a statue that depicts the girl praying on her knees, along with statues of St John and St Luke.