The Malta Study Center

Catalog: Dr. Daniel K. Gullo and Cláudia Garradas

Site Design: Dr. Daniel K. Gullo and John Meyerhofer

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A medieval legacy

The 1436 Rollo (inventory) of benefices in Malta and Gozo under Bishop Senatore de Mello listed ten existing parishes, namely Naxxar, Birkirkara, Qormi, Gudja, Żebbug, Siġġiewi, Żejtun, Żurrieq, Dingli, and Mellieha (absorbed into Naxxar in 1575, but reinstated in 1842).  With the arrival of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem to Malta in 1530, parishes were founded across the archipelago, creating a rich network of local church history.

Attard

 

Attard became a parish church in 1575. The current church was built in 1613. A belfry was added to the church in 1718 and a sacristy in 1740.

Birgu

 

Birgu (Vittoriosa) is one of the oldest parishes in Malta. St. Lawrence Church was built between 1681 and 1679, and was consecrated in 1723.

Birkirkara

 

Birkirkara was founded as a parish church prior to 1436. The church became a Collegiate church in 1630 and a minor basilica in 1950.

Cospicua

 

Cospicua became a parish in 1586. The current church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception was elevated to collegiate status in 1822.

Għarb

 

Għarb became a parish on 1679 August 29. The current church was founded in 1699, became the official parish seat in 1729, was consecrated in 1755, and has enjoyed Archipresbyteral rank since 1774 May 19.

Għargħur

 

 Għargħur became a parish on 1610 July 16. The present church was built in 1610 and was consecrated in 1736 April 22.

Għaxaq

 A church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was located in Għaxaq in 1511. Għaxaq officially became a parish in 1626. A new church was built in 1655. The current church was built in 1735 and dedicated on 1784 May 2.

Gudja

 

Gudja parish chruch was built in 1656. The old parish church of Birmiftuh still exists, but is no in the village of Gudja. The parish, identified then as Birmiftuh, dates back at least to 1436, when it was mentioned as one of ten parishes in Malta.

 

Imqabba

 

Imqabba became a parish in 1598 centered on Saint Basil Church. A new church was built to replace the older chapel in 1699. The Church of the Assumption of Saint Mary became the parish church on 1774 May 20.

Naxxar

 

Naxxar was founded as a parish church prior to 1436. The present church was built between 1616 and 1630 and was consecrated on 1732 December 11.

Qormi

 

Qormi was one of ten parishes which existed prior to 1436 and was centered on Saint George Church. A new church was built for the parish in 1456, while the the current church was built in 1584. Several other churches exist in the parish, including the three major sixteenth-century Marian churches of Ta' Qrejca Church, Church of Our Lady of “tal-Hlas” and Church of Our Lady of Victory.

Rabat

 

Saint Paul's Collegiate Church in Rabat was completed in 1683 and was consecrated in 1726.

Senglea

 

Senglea became a parish in 1581. The church was built in 1580 and consecrated in 1743. This original church was destroyed during World War II, but rebuilt and consecrated in 1957. It was made a Collegiate parish since 1786.

Siġġiewi

Siġġiewi was founded as a parish church prior to 1493. The present church of St. Nicholas of Bari was built between 1675 and 1693.

Valletta. Our Lady of Damascus Church

 

Our Lady of Damascus Church is a Melkite church built at the request of Giovanni Calamia in the sixteenth century to house the icon of Our Lady of Damascus. The Melkite community (Greek-Catholic) came to Malta from Rhodes with the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem when the Knights were expelled from the island in 1522. The church was completed in 1580.

 

Valletta. Saint George Orthodox Church

 

Saint George Orthodox Church is a Greek Orthodox Church completed in 1816 by the Greek and Cypriot community of Malta. 

Valletta. Saint Mary of Porto Salvo

 

Also known as Basilica of St Dominic, Saint Mary Church of Porto Salvo is one of three parish churches of Valletta. The original church was built in 1571. A new church was built and consecrated in 1889 to replace the building damaged by an earthquake in 1780.

Valletta. St. Paul's Shipwreck Collegiate Church

 

The first church was built in 1570. The present church was built between 1639 and 1679 and became a collegiate church in 1733. 

Xagħra

 

Xagħra became a parish on 28th april 1688. The foundation stone of the present structure was laid on 2 October 1815, was consecrated in May 1878, and was raised to Archipresbyteral status on 11 March 1893.

Xewkija

 

Xewkija became a parish on 1678 November 27. The currrent church was built between 1952-1978 and has enjoyed Archipresbyteral rank since 1893 February 10.

Żabbar

 

Żabbar became a parish in 1615. The current church was built between 1641 and 1696. The parish also includes St. Mary’s Church, which served as the parish church during the French Occupation from 1798-1800.

Żebbuġ

 

Żebbuġ parish was founded before 1436. The currrent church was built in 1632.

 

Żejtun

 

Żejtun, formerly known as Bisqallin, is listed as one of the ten parishes existing in Malta in 1436.The present church was built between 1692 and 1728.

Żurrieq

 

Zurrieq is listed as one of the ten Malta parishes in 1436. The present church was built between 1634 and 1659 and was dedicated in 1731.