Thursday, 5 December 2013

Our Lady of Graces, Zabbar

The church of Zabbar, dedicated to Our Lady of Graces  originally belonged to the parish of Zejtun. In   December 1615, at the request of the inhabitants, Zabbar was raised to a parish in its own right.

Building of this magnificent parish church began in 1641 to the design of Maltese architect Thommaso Dingli and was completed in 1696. The result is a vast and imposing church, in the form of a Latin cross, with a facade built in the Corinthian Order. The church has a choir, two side chapels, a nave with ten alters and two sacristies, surmounted by a  majestic cupola  flanked by  two bell towers.


The church contains many  relics,  among them  the body of St. Feliciano which was presented by the parish priest in 1757. Devotion to Our lady of Graces has been shown for centuries by the Maltese and particularly by seafarers, whose share of the bounty from the Order's corso enabled the magnificent parish church to be built, many of them left touching votive offerings to Our Lady, as tokens of gratitude for their survival at sea.