The Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck: What You Must Know

Everyone knows that Malta has the most number of public holidays or feast days than any other state in the EU. If you wish to make the most of cheap holidays to Malta and would want to get the most from your trip, possibly going to the island when folks are celebrating one of these public holidays would be the best time for your captivation.

There is a holiday in Malta every month, and February is no exception. Every February, Maltese citizens observe the month of St. Paul the Apostle. That is correct. This is the Paul of the Bible, who essentially rivalled St. Peter of Rome in evangelization and thus attained a place as one of the pillars of the Early Catholic Church. And in February, the main holiday is the Feast of St. Paul’s shipwreck, which is a commemoration of an event when St. Paul’s ship ran aground the shores of Malta.

In the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, St. Paul, as well as St. Luke, went on board a Roman galley from Crete which was headed to Rome. The galley was transporting a full load of goods and cargo, and these two holy men essentially hitched a ride to the capital of the Empire. While they were cruising in the Adriatic Sea, however, the ship stumbled upon a fierce storm. The storm flung them to various directions for 14 long days, and the ship was already in danger of breaking apart in the abuse. By the 14th day, it was clear that unless help arrives or unless they find a haven for safety and shelter, the ship would sink, taking down all her men with her.

As the inescapable neared, the sailors saw a chance of salvation; they could hardly make out an island in the horizon, the storm winds driving them towards it. As they neared the land, the crew dropped anchor to slow down the ship’s drift towards the razor sharp rocks that can smash the ship to pieces. When sunshine came, they cut the anchors and angled the ship towards a beach or sandbar where the ship ultimately ran aground and broke apart. Astonishingly, all people on board the ship made it through the crash, and from there on, the sandbar became known as St. Paul’s Bay. A cathedral has been constructed in the capital, Valletta, which was aptly named the St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church in order of that Biblical event.

As a tradition, citizens of Malta celebrate St. Paul’s Shipwreck every 10th of February. This feast is very popular. The grandest celebration is celebrated in Rabat and Valletta, the northern parts of Malta. Here, the feast is celebrated with a parade in order of the Saint. The celebrations are particularly boisterous – the statue of the saint is paraded with fireworks and a marching band. Tourists and Maltese locals travel to these two places every year to witness the celebration.

If you have a tendency of studying world societies, then visit Malta during the Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck. Click here for more details on cheap holidays in January and grab a good opportunity to witness how members of the mostly Catholic populace of the island celebrate their religious holidays.

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This post was written by SBR_Assistant on January 24, 2013

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