Saturday, May 05, 2018

Maltese Celebration of the Finding of the Cross

The Maltese town of Birkirkara, the largest on the island, has four parishes, one of which is dedicated to St Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine and discoverer of the relics of the True Cross. There is a pious tradition that St Helena stopped in Malta on her way back to Italy after her visit to Jerusalem. In any case, devotion to her is very old there going back to the late Middle Ages, as also in Sardinia, where Byzantine influence was also very strong.

The Maltese diligently keep their patronal feasts with all the traditional solemnity, as we see very nicely here in the photos of the celebrations for the feast of the Finding of the Cross. The church is officially a collegiate church and basilica, with a college of canons, and two new members of the chapter were officially inducted on the feast as well. (Photos are reproduced by permission from the church’s Facebook page. Thanks to Canon Nicholas Doublet.)

The new canons receive the mozzetta...
pectoral cross
and ring.

Exchanging the peace with the members of the chapter.
A relic of the Cross

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