Franciscan Church of St Mary of Jesus

Last updated
Church of St Mary of Jesus
Knisja ta' Ġieżu

Franciscan Church of St Mary of Jesus.jpg

Façade of the church
Malta location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Church of St Mary of Jesus
35°53′46.8780″N14°30′47.8944″E / 35.896355000°N 14.513304000°E / 35.896355000; 14.513304000 Coordinates: 35°53′46.8780″N14°30′47.8944″E / 35.896355000°N 14.513304000°E / 35.896355000; 14.513304000
Location Valletta
Country Malta
Denomination Roman Catholic
History
Founded 1584
Dedication St Mary of Jesus
Architecture
Status Active
Functional status Conventual church
Architect(s) Girolamo Cassar
Architectural type Church
Style Baroque and Mannerist
Administration
Archdiocese Malta
Clergy
Archbishop Charles Scicluna
Rector Joe Caruana

The Franciscan Church of St Mary of Jesus is a church in Valletta, Malta, which is dedicated to St Mary of Jesus and is cared for by the religious order of Friars Minor. It came to be popularly known by the Maltese as Ta' Ġieżu. Ta' Ġieżu is a local corruption of Ta' Ġesù (of Jesus). [1]

Valletta Local council in South Eastern Region, Malta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta. Located in the south east of the island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population in 2014 was 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe.

Malta island republic in Europe

Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.

Contents

History

In 1571 the Friars Minor were granted a piece of land in Valletta on which to build a church. Work began shortly afterwards, following the design of Girolamo Cassar. The façade was replaced in 1680 by Mederico Blondel. Numerous grandmasters contributed lavishly towards the embellishment of the church which now hosts various works of art.

Girolamo Cassar was a Maltese architect and military engineer. He was the resident engineer of the Order of St. John, and was admitted into the Order in 1569. He was involved in the construction of Valletta, initially as an assistant to Francesco Laparelli, before taking over the project himself. He designed many public, religious and private buildings in the new capital city, including Saint John's Co-Cathedral, the Grandmaster's Palace and the auberges. He was the father of Vittorio Cassar, another architect and engineer.

Description

The main attraction is undoubtedly the impressive Miraculous Crucifix (in Maltese: Il-Kurċifiss Mirakuluż), by the Sicilian friar Umile Pintorno around 1630. It immediately attracted the attention of the Maltese who still hold it in great devotion. Accompanying the crucifix is a painting of Our Lady of Sorrows by Stefano Erardi.

Crucifix cross with an image or artwork of Jesus on it

A crucifix is an image of Jesus on the cross, as distinct from a bare cross. The representation of Jesus himself on the cross is referred to in English as the corpus.

Sicily Island in the Mediterranean and region of Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.

Our Lady of Sorrows title of Mary, mother of Jesus

Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Dolours, the Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of Piety, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows or Our Lady of the Seven Dolours are names by which the Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. As Mater Dolorosa, it is also a key subject for Marian art in the Catholic Church.

The titular painting is the work of the Sicilian artist Antonio Catalano. It is dated 1600 and depicts the Visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth.

Interior of the church Interior of the church of St Mary of Jesus Valletta.jpg
Interior of the church

The church also hosts the grave of Blessed Nazju Falzon (1813–1865), a diocesan cleric greatly venerated by the Maltese, who taught Catholic catechism to British sailors stationed in Malta.

Nazju Falzon Maltese writer

Blessed Nazju Falzon was a Maltese cleric and a professed member from the Secular Franciscan Order. He did not become an ordained priest because he did not feel he was adequate enough for such an honor. He became an apt catechist and noted for his commitment to religious instruction.

The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. [2]

National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands

The National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands (NICPMI) is a heritage register listing the cultural property of Malta. The inventory includes properties such as archaeological sites, fortifications, religious buildings, monuments and other buildings. The NICPMI is under the responsibility of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (SCH) which was founded in 2002 to replace the Antiquities Act. The NICPMI was established on 16 December 2011.

See also

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References

  1. "Thousands visit Ta' Ġieżu crucifix exposed on main altar". Times of Malta . 13 March 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. "Church of the Madonna of Jesus" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2015.