In the Footsteps of St Paul

In the footsteps of St Paul

The aim of this tour is to visit the sites covered by ĎOur Father Paulí, during his 3-month long stay on Malta, after his ship ran aground when en route to Rome to be tried, as was his right, as a Roman citizen.

The day starts with a visit of the Mellieha Sanctuary, to view a painting of the Madonna on the rock face, attributed to St. Luke, who was shipwrecked on Malta together with St. Paul.

The next very important visit will be that of St. Paulís Bay, just the part of the shore, across from the islands, where the ship is believed to have been wrecked. This is a very removed part of the shore, where the group is able to reflect on Chapters 27 and 28 of the Acts of the Apostles, which deal with Paulís shipwreck on Malta.

A little distance away is St. Paulís shipwreck church, just where it is thought that the locals lit up a fire, to warm up Paul and his fellow survivors, when having swam to shore. It was here that he was bitten by the viper, which he shook back into the fire, never to have been affected by the venom.

We will take up the rest of the morning with visiting San Pawl Milqi (St. Paul hosted), what was once an extensive complex, comprising a country villa from the Roman era, then equipped with wine and oil-making facilities. This was possibly the summer residence for Publius, the Roman governor of the island at the time of Paulís shipwreck, and the place where he was first offered refuge. The present 17th century church can be visited, as can the area beneath the church, showing the foundations of earlier chapels.

The tour next takes us to Naxxar, where another chapel stands on the site from where Paulís preaching is said to have been heard from the island of Gozo.

This will be followed by a 35 minute docudrama on St. Paulís shipwreck as recorded in the Acts, a multiple projection on a 13 metre-wide screen, one that greatly involves the viewer. This production is viewed at the Franciscan Conventual Centre.

Next on our itinerary will be Rabat, where we will visit the grotto where the saint lived, prayed and preached during much of his 3-month long stay on the island. We will also visit the Parish Church for Rabat, built over the grotto, and naturally dedicated to the St. Paul.

The day will end with a walking tour of Mdina, where the Cathedral takes pride of place, standing on what is believed to have been the site for the home of Publius, the Roman governor. Publiusís father was terminally ill, and Paul prayed over him and cured him. Tradition has it that Publius was converted by Paul, and was appointed a first Bishop, following which he opened up his home to the first Christian community.

Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Mellieha Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha
St Paul Islands Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
St Paul's Islands
St Paul Grotto Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
St Paul's Grotto
Mdina Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Narrow streets of Mdina
Rabat Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Rabat Ė A way of life!