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Malta

About Malta:

This small European island nation is located in the central Mediterranean, making it one of the sunniest and warmest places in Europe during the winter. As a result it is a popular tourist destination. The island nation of Malta, actually consists of five islands, of which two are inhabited: the larger island of Malta and the smaller island of Gozo. More importantly to Catholics,it has a 2,000-year-old Christian history, thanks to the Apostle Paul. IOn fact, the islands are often called the Islands of Saint Paul.

Paul, “the Apostle of the Gentiles”, was shipwrecked here in 60 AD. Traveling with him was Luke, the Evangelist.  They had both been arrested and were being transported back to Rome to be tried and executed.  The ship on which they were being transported was wrecked in a storm of the coast of Malta, and they were forced stay in Malta during the winter months, when navigation would have been impossible. Paul preached the Good News of the Risen Christ to the inhabitants of Malta and many were converted when they witnessed the miracles he performed in the name of Christ.

There were several pagan shrines erected in the past..mostly to pagan goddesses.  Perhaps that is why it was so easy to spread devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary when Christianity took hold.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is shown all over the island of Malta: A small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows (Madonna tas-Silġ) built on a hill overlooking the Byzantine Port of Marsaxlokk, is evidence that Malta was a center of Marian devotion.

Catholic places of interest in Malta:

Saint John’s Co-Cathedral

The Collegiate Church of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck:  celebrating the arrival of Christianity with Paul

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mellieħa

 

Traveling to Malta:

There is an international airport on the main island of Malta and there is also regular ferry service from Sicily.

Malta is a popular port of call on Mediterranean cruises from lines including Royal Caribbean, MSC, Celebrity, Azamara, Regent Seven Seas and SilverSea. Most of these spend a full day in Malta, giving you plenty of time to explore.

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