Inauguration of restored paintings of St Dominic at Valletta Basilica, Malta

Inauguration of restored paintings of St Dominic at Valletta Basilica, Malta

The Basilica of Our Lady of Safe Haven and St Dominic was en fête on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, titular Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady as the restored paintings of the vault of the St Dominic Transept were inaugurated.

The paintings depicting the prophetic dream of Blessed Jane de Aza before she gave birth to our Holy Father St Dominic in the centre of the vault and the Glory of St Dominic in the apse are the work of the renowned Maltese painter Giuseppe Calì, a son of the parish, who executed the commission in 1899. These oil on stone frescoes were in a very bad state of conservation and needed to be completely restored.

The funds for this major project were provided by the Good Causes Fund of the Ministry of Finance of Malta.

The celebration began with the unveiling of the cleaned altar piece of the altar of The Holy Name of God which depicts St Rose of Lima exalting the Christ Child and surrounded by various saints who spread the devotion of the Holy Name.

There followed a Pontifical Mass presided by His Grace Archbishop Emeritus of Malta,  Monsignor Paul Cremona OP, assisted by Fr Francis Micallef, Prior Provincial of Malta, Fr Michael Camilleri, the Prior and Parish Priest of the Valletta Community and various other priests from the same community. Also present were other churches in Valletta as well as the Mons. Carmelo Refalo, Archpriest of the Collegiate Basilica of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in the village of Xagħra on sister island of Gozo.

The Pontifical Mass was attended by Prof Alexiei Dingli, Mayor of Valletta, and Mr Mario Cutajar, Principal Permanent Secretary within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta as well as delegations from the St Dominic Feast Association and the King’s Own Band led by their presidents Mr Joseph Zammit and Architect Ivan Piccinino respectively.

The restoration was carried out by the Conservator Agatha Grima with the help of the her team of her bottega.

Alfred Grixti, Lay Dominican,
Parish Basilica of Of Lady of Safe Haven and St Dominic, Valletta, Malta


(2 June 2017)