Votive Lamp Pilgrimage – 4 June 2023
June 6 2023
The annual Votive Lamp Pilgrimage to St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat, was held on Sunday 4 June at 5:30pm.
The proceedings commenced in the Sanctuary of St. Publius, where Archpriest Fr. Joe Mizzi read a short history of the votive lamp. The participants then processed to St. Paul’s Church, during which the votive lamp was borne by members of the Order.
Every year, different parishes in Malta and Gozo present the oil to be burnt in St. Paul’s Grotto for the forthcoming year. Fr. Ronnie Zammit, the Archpriest of Santa Lucia Parish, presented the oil this year.
Holy Mass in St. Paul’s Church was then celebrated, with the participation of the St Paul’s Basilica, Rabat, Choir.
The votive lamp was lit after the reading of the Gospel and sermon.
At the end of the Mass, the votive lamp was carried in procession to St Paul’s Grotto where it was hung in front of the statue of St Paul, and a short prayer was said.
The Votive Lamp Pilgrimage started in 1960 when Grand Master Frà Angelo de Mojana, accompanied by the Sovereign Council and members of the Maltese Association, presented to St Paul’s Grotto, in the presence of the Cardinal Legate, a silver votive lamp in the form of a galley of the Order, recalling the efforts of the Order in the early 17th century to acquire under its jurisdiction this Grotto which was the cradle of Christianity in Malta.
Throughout their stay on the island the Knights embellished the place and promoted it, both locally and internationally, as an apostolic sanctuary and a place of pilgrimage under their jurisdiction. When the Knights left Malta, efforts were made to retain for the use of the officiating clergy, the sacred vestments and privileges of the Order. The annexed building, the Wignacourt Museum, which was the residence of the officiating chaplains, incorporates many works of art and treasures of the Order.
More photos are available at the gallery below: