Culture
Valletta like you’ve never seen it before! Check out this 100-year-old photo of the Grand Harbour
A historic photo for the ages!

Emma Galea

Have you ever seen this stunning birds eye photo of Cardinal Ferrata blessing the Valletta Grand Harbour during Malta’s Eucharistic Congress on the 26th April 1913?

Every few years or so, the Roman Catholic church organises ‘The International Eucharistic Congress’. In the year 1913, it was Malta’s turn to organise.

The event typically involves several large open-air masses, adoration of the Eucharist, a solemn procession and other ceremonies held throughout a series of days.

In this photo, we can see Cardinal Domenico Ferrata, the pope’s Cardinal Legate, blessing the sea over the Grand Harbour from the Upper Barrakka.

The cardinal used a monstrance borrowed from the St Lawrence Church in Birgu.

It is said that many were worrying the blessing would be cancelled because of the strong winds hitting the island at the time. Fortunately, the wind subsided and the event was a success.

The event attracted large crowds not only on land but also on the ships in the Grand Harbour. Many even gathered around the Cottonera towns to witness this historic event.  

During this Eucharistic Congress, Malta welcomed five cardinals, 50 archbishops, and over 2,000 guest who travelled to Malta to show their devotion.

Events were held all throughout Malta but the Mosta Church was the centre of all the events being organised.  In fact, in honour of Eucharistic Congress, the street leading up to the Mosta church was renamed the Eucharistic Congress Road.

Ever since then, Malta never got the chance to organise the International Eucharistic Congress again.  

Facebook/Malta and International Football collection

22nd February 2024


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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