Church of Our Lady of the Light

XirCammini Logo

By XirCammini

min read

Before the church dedicated to Our Lady of the Light, there was an older church dedicated to the Visitation by Mary to Elisabeth. The earlier church was closed by Bishop Balaguer after it fell into disrepair. A church was rebuilt on the same site by Fr Ġlormu Azzopardi and Fr Horatio Xiberras. The architect was Lorenzo Gafà (the same architect of the Cathedral of Mdina and other major ecclesiastical masterpieces on the island) in 1738.

It was re-consecrated in 1740 by Bishop Paul Alpheran de Bussan and dedicated to Our Lady of Light (Madonna tad-Dawl). This devotion reached our shores from Sicily largely through the efforts of the incumbent bishop at the time. There is also another church with a similar dedication at the Żejtun/Żabbar confines (now Marsascala) in an area known as tal-Bidni. Although strong for a period of time, this particular devotion was relatively short-lived. The icon associated with this devotion — Mother Mary pulling a child away from the devil — is associated with a dream of a Sicilian Jesuit who then propagated this devotion of the Madonna as a Protector from evil.

The church suffered at hit during a World War II air raid on the 2nd of May 1941 but was subsequently repaired.

The feast of Our Lady of the Light is still celebrated annually in this church in November.

From the church of Our Lady of the Light we turn right descending through Triq l-Għanja Maltija to the valley (Wied l-Baqqiegħa). At this point (in the valley) we can either turn right (parallel and below the main thoroughfare, Triq Monsinjur Mikiel Azzopardi, keeping it on our left) walking along Wied Ħesri towards Siġġiewi (see route below) or we walk underneath the main thoroughfare, Triq Monsinjur Mikiel Azzopardi, towards the church of Our Lady of the Visitation in Wied Qirda.

From there, we retrace our steps beneath the Mikiel Azzporadi thoroughfare to Wied Baqqiegħa and Wied Ħesri to continue our walk towards the parish church of St. Nicholas of Bari. Where Wied Ħesri intersects with Triq l-Mdina, in the valley itself, there is a bridge onto Triq l-Mdina. We take this, starting a short ascent, immediately turning right into a path between fields towards the Siġġiewi Basketball and Football courts. From Triq N. Vassallo we turn left into Triq il-Mitħna, walking through Triq il-Parroċċa in the direction of the Siġġiewi parish church of St. Nicholas of Bari.