Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament - Crypt

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Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament - Crypt

The Oratory is located in a corner, annexed to St Catherine’s Parish Church and overlooking Misraħ ir-Repubblika. It started being built in 1743 by the oldest confraternity in St Catherine’s Parish: The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. The Oratory was constucted within three years and is truly an outstanding example of Baroque architecture.

A flight of stairs within this elegant building lead to a crypt. This rock-cut chamber was dug below the entire building precisely with the intention of being used as a burial site for the members of the Confraternity. Within the crypt of the Oratory (similar to the other crypts beneath St Catherine’s Parish Church) one finds a series of numbered graves, as well as graffiti related to the deceased buried here. One of the graves within this crypt belongs to the most renowed sculptor that the Parish of Żejtun or Citta’ Beland ever had, that is of Xandru or Alexander Farrugia (1791-1871).1

A major attraction within this underground burial is the altar and the sculpture in relief, all sculptured out of stone. The relief is representing Our Lady of Sorrows with Jesus and portrayed beneath them lie the souls of purgatory.

The Crypt under the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament is open during the festival held on the last weekend of September, known as Żejt iż-Żejtun and on the 2nd of November.

Author: Amy Sciberras

References:

Abela, J., 2006, Il-Parroċċa taż-Żejtun tul iż-Żminijiet, Malta: Klabb Kotba Maltin

Abela, R., 2006, The Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament – Restoration Method Statement, retreived 30 November, 2011 from http://www.zejtunparish.com

Schembri, E., n.d., Xandru Farrugia – Alessandro Farrugia, Għaqda Kultura u Armar Marija Annunzjata Tarxien
A.D. 1988, retreived 30 November, 2011 from http://www.freewebs.com/stillieristorja/Xandru Farrugia.htm

Verbal communication by Paul Zammit – Sacristan of Żejtun’s Parish Church

1 The two stone statues in the facade of Żejtun’s Parsih Church, representing hope and faith, are the works of Alexander Farrugia. More of Farrugia’s works at St Catherine’s Parish Church include the masterpiece “Christ scorched by the Pillar” (1838) which is carved in wood, the ”Ecce Homo” and two statues of baby Jesus.