Xaghra-Marsalforn
HOME
Towns and Villages. Index
XAGHRA
Nativity of Our Lady Parish Church
The patron Saint of Xaghara was at first St.Anthony then the dedication of the Parish Church was changed to Our Lady of Grace then to the Nativity of Our Lady. It is commonly known as Our Lady of Victory. The parish was established by Bishop Cocco-Palmeri on 28 April 1688 and the seat was originally the chapel of St.Anthony Abbot in the same village. In 1692 the people finished the building of the first Parish church. The altarpiece was brought from the Senglea parish in Malta, but in 1744 it was replaced by a painting by Carlo Dimech. The present church, grew over and around the older building. The foundation stone of today's church was laid on 2nd October 1815 and the church was consecrated on 26 May 1878, raised to Archipresbyterial status on 11 March 1893 and to a Collegiate on 17 March 1900. The title of Basilica was conferred on the parish church on 26 August 1967. The church is clad in marble inside and has beautiful stained glass windows.
Annunciation Ghajn Meddew
This chapel was built between 1608 and 1615 most probably in place of a chapel dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady which in 1598 was in ruins. Inside, there was an oil on canvas altarpiece executed by an expert artist. The chapel was situated on private property and when the owners passed away, it was abandoned and its door had to be blocked with stone.


Annunciation Wied Sara
This chapel was in a relatively good condition. In 1629, the Archpriest of the 'matrice', Don Salvatore Pontremoli, took the chapel under his care and improved its condition further. On the feast-day, the celebrant was given a free dinner and a quantity of bread was distributed to the poor. In 1644, the chapel was already in ruins.


Assumption Ghajn Xejba
This chapel was one of the oldest Marian chapels on the island. At the beginning of the seventeenth century its Assumption altarpiece was painted directly on the back stone wall. It was in a rather ruinous condition between 1575 and 1615 but was eventually restored and another painting placed over the original. After some years it was abandoned again and it had almost fallen down by 1657.


Assumption Qasam tal-Gherien
Almost nothing is known about this chapel that used to exist at il-Qasam tal-Gherien, Xaghra.


Two Assumption chapels
Just below Zebbug, at the port of Marsalforn, One was in a dilapidated condition in 1598 and even though it possessed some property, nothing was done to save it from complete ruin.
The other, on the left side of the harbour, was well looked after and Saturday devotions were held there. By 1630, it had collapsed, however its memory survives in the name of the spot where it stood 'il-ponta ta' Santa Marija' guards the entrance to Marsalforn Bay.


Chapel
A chapel is mentioned existing in Marsalforn tower in Mons.Rull's 1762 report.


Chapel
This chapel was built by the male members of the group M.U.S.E.U.M. founded by St.George Preca, and forms part of their premises.
Chapel (Private) at Marsalforn:
Christ Redeemer in-Nazzarenu
Built after the 1814 plague to cater for the rapid population increase in the area.
Pre VaticanII inside
Our Lady of Joys or The Seven Joys of Mary at Ramla
Popularly known as tal-Gajdoru, a corruption of the Latin Gaudiorum, it was in fact the only one with that title in the Maltese Archipelago. The chapel was probably founded in 1453 by the first Augustinian friars who settled on the island. The friars however soon left the place which was too close to the coast and established themselves near it-Tomba at Rabat. The chapel however was not abandoned for devotees continued to look after its needs. Someone had even bequeathed property for the solemnization of the feast-day, celebrated on the occasion of the Assumption. In 1575, Mons.Dusina found the chapel in a very poor condition but it was restored in 1608 and a stucco on wood panel portraying Our Lady of Joys hung on the altar. By 1615, the original altarpiece was replaced by an exceptionally beautiful oil on canvas painting representing the Assumption. The celebration of the feast-day had by then become very popular and so as not to coincide with the one at the 'matrice', as from 1635 it was celebrated on August 5. The chapel was at its best the following decade but then interest began to decline again. It was deconsecrated in 1657 but its title remains in the name of the region which it once dominated.


St.Anthony Abbot
This is one of the oldest churches in Gozo reported already existing in 1400. Rebuilt in 1601, it includes an adjacent cemetery and parvis. It subsequently became the first parish church of Xaghra on 28th April 1688 and continued to serve as such until 1692. After the plague of 1814, which took 104 victims, certain articles within the church were burnt in order to disinfect the place. The present painting, depicting St.Anthony with the people of Xaghra living under tents during the plague, was painted by Dun Salv Bondi in 1816. The church suffered damage during WWII and was repaired and re-consecrated in 1947 by Bishop Giuseppe Pace after a new facade was built. The foundations of the first church can still be distinguished. Lately, its original vaulted ceiling was restored to its original style.
St.Anthony Abbot church

Top Left: The church of pre WWII

Left: St.Anthony Abbot nowadays

Top: Restoration of the arched roof

Top Right: Restored church inside

Right: Titular picture on high altar.
St.Paul Shipwrecked Marsalforn
St.Paul was shipwrecked in Malta, but tradition maintained that it was from here that he embarked for Rome. The church, originally built in the 14th century, has been rebuilt and enlarged many times once in 1641 and restored in 1663. In 1715 a small fort with a moat and drawbridge was built around it for security from Corsairs. The foundation stone of the present church was laid in 1730, then the church was repaired and enlarged in 1878. After being enlarged in recent decades by roofing over a yard, plans for the building of a new church are underway. The feast is celebrated on the 10th February. Dedication 1939.
Visitation Ghajn Hozna
This chapel flourished especially during the sixteenth century. Amounts of wheat bread and wine were distributed to the faithful on the feast-day. During the seventeenth century, when its founder Federico Pontremoli had passed away, the chapel was abandoned and it soon became a heap of ruins.