Malta devotional niches and shrines

Malta’s long history is very interesting, including what is widely thought to be the shipwreck by the apostle Paul in AD 60 described in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles chapter 28, the last chapter in Acts.

Later there was a period where the inhabitants were killed and it was mostly unpopulated, then was resettled around AD 1049 by a Muslim community and their slaves, who rebuilt a ruined city and called it Mdina after the Arabian Madīnah / Medina. Eventually Christians reconquered the island, yet the Arabic dialect spoken by the population remained, with new Christian faith.

Here is one example, a guest house called Dar is-Sliem, “house of peace” in Maltese, similar to Dar es Salaam in Arabic, the largest city in Tanzania:

Nowadays Malta is a strongly Catholic country. This is evident in many ways. Visually it is obvious in the large in the many, many churches on the islands. In the small, see the very common house devotional niċċa (niches) and shrines that are all over the place. They are often dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, or to Jesus himself, or to one of many patron saints.

Here are some examples I saw during my walks alone and with Mira:

Some are in public places too, not just on houses:

Also, hello!

You can see more examples of these niċċa / niches elsewhere:


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