Point of Interest

The Church of St Paul’s Shipwreck

Malta / Europe

The Collegiate Parish Church of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck is in Saint Paul’s Street leading towards the Grand Harbour. It is Roman Catholic, one of Malta’s oldest churches, and was designed by Girolamo Cassar in 1570 and completed by 1582. The church was then given to the Jesuit fathers and a new church built. The façade was rebuilt by Nicola Zammit in 1885.The church commemorates the shipwreck of Saint Paul the Apostle on the island in 59/60 AD, as described in Acts 28, verse I, in which Saint Luke wrote: “We found that the island was called Melita.” Saint Paul brought Christianity to the Maltese Islands when he converted the then pagan nation.The church contains several paintings depicting the saint’s life by Attilio Palombi. It is also home to a jewelled reliquary containing a relic of the saint’s right wrist along with a piece of the column from San Paolo alle Tre Fontane on which he was said to have been martyred in Rome. The church also houses a wooden statue ofSaint Paul, carved in 1659 by Melchiorre Cafà.

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