The St Anne Chapel or as better known, Kappella ta' Sant' Anna, was built in 1565 by Gianni Schembri to fulfil a vow made following the invasion of the Turks during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.The chapel's façade is impressive with two windows at the sides of the main door and another above, providing natural light to the interior.
A small belfry at the top of the chapel calls devotees to religious worship services. Two sculpted pillars at the facade's sides support a decorative lintel above.
The Chapel has a main altar dedicated to the mother of Mary, Sant'Anna. The main altar is adorned by two small side altars, and is decorated by a fine prospective that surrounds the Titular painting of Sant'Anna. Above the altar a sculptured representation of the Holy Ghost and marble representations throughout, add to the spiritualism of this monument. A simple band at the altar's sides supports numerous silver “Ex-Voto's” icons, consisting mainly of a high amount of “newly born” figurines complimented with other customary “illness” representations that are significant of the devotion the chapel processed.
In front of the altar, the silver gilded frontal (Ventartal) is clear evidence of the chapel's devotion. In the chapel's interior and above the main door, one can find a wooden choral galley, accessible only by a ladder through a trap door beneath, allows greater use of the limited chapel's space below. A small sacristy was added to the chapel's side at a latter date.
A small but simple, one a half meter high, terracotta statue of Saint Anne and Mary, mounted on a pedestal, can be found within the chapel. Uncommon in many of Malta 's places of worship, this terracotta statue, places the chapel in line with other much larger chapels around the island.
Another very small statue of Saint Rocco (Sant'Rokku), Protector against Plague, can be found on one of the side altars. Saint Anna and Sant'Rokku are further represented in triumphant statues in Qrendi main squares, evident of their local devotion. In the Notary acts of Giljan Briffa dated 17 th September 1585 , beneficiaries were left in favour of the San t'Anna Chapel. The Sant'Anna Chapel was restored in 1796 under the title of Sant' Anna, the chapel was blessed by Very Rev Fr. Anton Mizzi and its procurator, Rev Gianni Borg. The chapel was more recently again restored to its original glory by Parish Priest Father Ray Toledo, as part of the Qrendi Parish Millennium project.
Author: David Schembri