Sanctuary of St. Joseph

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Sanctuary of St. Joseph

The Sanctuary of St. Joseph is dedicated to the saint with the same name. The Sanctuary was built between the year 1665 and 1685. The land this Sanctuary is built on was originally property of the Franciscan Friars. They purposely donated this land to the Archconfraternity of St Joseph so that they would be able to build this Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was then enlarged between the year 1804 and 1840.

The main alter of the Sanctuary hosts the much venerated and loved old statue of St. Joseph. A decree issued by Pope Piju XII in the year 1956 permitted this statue to be solemnly crowned with two crowns made of gold and precious gems on the 1st of May 1963 by the Archbishop of Malta of that time, Mons. Mikel Gonzi at Floriana. This statue is one of the very few images of St. Joseph to be crowned with a decree from the Pope. It is a great honour to the Maltese that one of the very few crowned statues of St. Joseph is located in Rabat in this Sanctuary dedicated to St. Joseph, inside the Church dedicated to Saint Mary of Jesus.

This Sanctuary hosts a number of processional statues of the Passion of Christ. These statues are used in a procession each year during Good Friday. The processions is organised by the Archconfraternity of St. Jospeh and it is said that this was the first Good Friday procession to be organised on the Maltese Islands.

Author: Pierre Axiaq

Source: rabatmalta.com