The Malta Experience
During May, The Animate Team went on pilgrimage to Malta in the Mediterranean. We decided to head to Malta due to its rich Catholic heritage and tradition as it contains many Catholic Cathedrals and Shrines. In fact in Malta there are more Churches on the Island than days of the year!
In around 60 A.D St Paul was shipwrecked on the Maltese coast after a violent storm out at sea. It was here that nearly 2000 years of Christianity was born on Malta. As a team we were intrigued to discover more about the ministry of St Paul during his short stay on the island. We started off by going to what is called the ‘Shipwreck Church’ in which we saw the some relics of St. Paul out on display including the Pillar on which St. Paul was then later executed upon back in Rome. In addition we also visited the cave of St Paul where it is believed that he stayed which was in the old city of Rabat; it was in this cave that he taught many of the islanders about our Lord.
Also during our visit we visited many of the well-known Cathedrals including The Co-Cathedral of St John which was truly outstanding in its architecture and artwork and contained all the graves of the previous Grand Masters of Malta. Besides this we also visited the iconic Mosta Cathedral, well known for its amazing freestanding dome. Furthermore, we visited the island just off the coast of Malta called Gozo to explore some more of the amazing shrines. Including that of Our Lady of Ta Pinu, of which there is a beautiful image of Our Lady. We saw that many miracles are attributed to her intercession as we saw hundreds of photographs, thank you notes and memorabilia around us.
All in all the Team Pilgrimage to Malta was a success. Visiting all of these different Churches and Shrines enabled us to share times of prayer and reflection and also for our own personal intentions. Above all seeing the sites and relics from St Paul’s ministry on Malta was inspiring for our own ministry that from one shipwreck emerged a country that surrounds itself in faith.