Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mdina of Malta

In the old city of Mdina of Malta, we were quickly reminded of St Paul.  According to the Acts of Apostles, Paul was in a ship heading for Rome when it was shipwrecked.  He landed on Malta.  There he encountered Publius and cured his father.  According to church tradition, he became the first bishop of Malta and its first saint.  It is a fact that Malta became one of the first Christian nations in the world starting with Publius. Here at the rear of the Mdina Gate, we found the reliefs of St. Publius, St. Paul and St. Agatha. 

We entered Mdina through the Mdina Gate.  

St. Agatha is another fascinating story.  She was a virgin who refused to renounce her Christian faith around 221 AD.  Legend has it that she was tortured and her breasts were cut off.  St. Peter appeared to her and healed her.  Eventually she died in prison.  Prior to her martyrdom in Sicily, she took refuge in Rabat, the suburb of Mdina on Malta.  Hence she is the patron saint of Malta and breast cancer patients, among many other people and places.  

From the city walls of Mdina, which is sitting on a hill, one can see as far as the seaside towns such as Valetta and beyond that, the sea itself in many directions.  Hence the strategic value of Mdina.  

There is a lot of elegant architecture, including intricate door knockers.  

It is fun walking around Mdina.  

Malta is a small but interesting place.  

I am glad we came. 

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