This Saturday 27th January 2018 the first of the year’s major feasts is celebrated in the Parish Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck in Valletta and in the streets of Malta’s capital city. It commemorates the shipwreck of the Apostle St. Paul on the Maltese Islands, an event which took place in 60 AD and which is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
According to legend, Saint Paul shipwrecked on the island of Malta on his way from Jerusalem to Rome. Publius, the first Bishop of Malta, cordially received Paul and his fellow travelers. During his stay on Malta, Paul healed Publius’ sick father and the rest of the sick on the island. The islanders paid Saint Paul great honor and brought him the provisions when he eventually set sail. Saint Paul’s shipwreck is considered one of the greatest events in the history of Malta.
Program of events:
Friday 26th January – Eve of The Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
17:15 Solemn Translation of the Relic of Saint Paul led by Archbishop Emeritus Mons. Paul Cremona O.P.
19:00 Solemn Mass led by Vicar General Mons. Joe Galea Curmi.
19:00 Traditional and popular band march by the Societa Filarmonica Nazionale La Valette together with the Beland Band of Zejtun. The celebrations begin from Republic Street and continue through St. John, Merchants, Melita, and St. Paul’s Streets. The route then diverges for the two bands: the Beland Band continues from St. Christopher Street, while the La Valette Band continues from St. Nicholas, Mediterranean Street and finally both converge to end near the Lower Barracca Gardens. This will be followed by a fireworks display involving pyrotechnics and Catherine wheels near the Great Siege Bell Memorial organized by the Fireworks Commission of the Ghaqda tal-Pawlini
Saturday 27th January – Feast of The Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
9:00 Arrival of Archbishop Mons. Charles J Scicluna and the President of Malta Her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca at the Collegiate of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck
9:15 Pontifical Mass including a panegyric by Archbishop Mons. Charles J Scicluna
12:00 Salute: the Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna will re-enact a full-gun salute from the Saluting Battery at the Upper Baracca Gardens in Valletta
13:00 Traditional band march by the Societa Fil Naz La Valette along the main streets of Valletta
15:45 Mass in English for foreign visitors led by Canon Magister Carmelo Busuttil, Archpriest of Vittoriosa
17:30 Synodal Procession featuring the statue of St Paul (a wooden sculpture by Melchiore Gafa) as well as the relic of St Paul. This procession will be accompanied by the Count Roger Band of Rabat and the St. Sebastian Band of Qormi. The procession begins and ends in St Paul’s Street.
17:30 Pyrotechnics display commemorating the event until 21:30 organised by the Fireworks Commission of the Ghaqda tal-Pawlini
18:30 The Immaculate Conception Band of Hamrun will perform a musical programme on the band stage in St Lucy Street corner with St Paul Street
21:30 Procession Entrance into the Collegiate Church. As the procession dedicated to St Paul re-enters the Collegiate Church, it is greeted and celebrated with the Hymn of St Paul, antiphon Sancte Pauli composed in 1840 by Dr. Paolo Nani and the Eucharistic Benediction