Zurrieq

St.Catherine Parish Church

The town of Zurrieq was one of the ten parishes which were already in existence in 1436. There used to be two churches on the site, one dedicated to St.Catherine and the other to St.Peter. The present church was built between 1634 and 1659 on plans prepared by Matteolo Saliba, and was dedicated by Bishop Alpheran de Bussan on the 30th Dec 1731. In 1758 it was enlarged and the belfries added in 1861.

Annunciation Hlantun

An Annunciation church in the neighbourhood of Hlantun village, now part of Zurrieq, is mentioned in the records of the 1618 Pastoral Visit when the Bishop forbade liturgical worship in it.

Annunciation Hal Millieri

This is a 1450's medieval church and was the parish church of Hal Millieri, now part of Zurrieq. It is situated within a walled cemetery. When the village ceased to exist the church was left derelict. As far back as 1575, on its feast day, a procession from Zurrieq parish ended here and Mass was duly celebrated. Victims of the 1592-93 plague were buried in its cemetery. Bishop Labini decreed its deconsecrating in 1787. After being used as a stable up to 1968, it was restored in the last few decades and is now held in trust by 'Din l-Art Helwa'. It has a small entrance archway to the property which was also restored. Inside the church are some old frescos. Two other churches were close by, St.John Evangelist, which still stands and the Visitation of which only traces of the foundation still exist.

Annunciation / St Sophia tal-Baqqari

A church was built around the 13th century, of which a few decades ago only a few broken columns were left. Another church dedicated to St Catherine that used to abut it was very small having three series of slabs for its roof. The latter was closed to public worship in 1658.

Assumption

This rural church abutted another one dedicated to St.Sebastian and by 1575 was already sufficiently endowed for its upkeep. St.Sebastian church was adapted as its sacristy in 1658. In 1676 a new church was built on the site of both. In 1683 Pietro Azzopardi bequeathed some property for Masses to be celebrated during the fifteen days preceding the feast of the Assumption.

Assumption tal-Hakba

Giacomo Camilleri in 1575 used to look after the daily needs of this church which stood quite close to the Parish Church. Although well frequented, its structure was very old and so Bishop Cagliares closed it in 1618. However, in 1634 it was once more opened for public worship till 1658 when it was deconsecrated once and for all.

Assumption Hlantun

There was another Assumption church which was formally closed down somewhere in Hlantun according to documents of 1618.

Assumption Bubaqra

Before 1490 at Bubaqra there were two churches, one dedicated to St.John and the other to St.Roque. These two churches were demolished and instead, a church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was built around 1676. In 1961 this church was enlarged.

Blessed Sacrament

Adjoining the Parish Church, this Oratory has a rather unusual facade having a baroque main door and neo-Romanesque frontispiece.

Immaculate Conception Nigret - tax-Xaghra

In 1575 according to Mons.Dusina's report, this church seems to have been dedicated to the Assumption. From 1594 onwards its titular was the Annunciation. In 1654 it was in a very miserable state and was closed to all forms of worship four years afterwards. Almost ninety years later in 1747, it was rebuilt from its very foundations but was rededicated to the Immaculate Conception. The church is part of a palace built in 1658 by the Knight of St.John James Togores de Valemuela. A community of Benedictine monks resided in the palace for some time before WWI. Nowadays the palace is occupied by the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart and serves as their convent. This Marian shrine was held in high esteem and venerated particularly by expectant mothers.

Nativity of Our Lady Bubaqra

This old church, already recorded in 1575 by Mons.Dusina, was then situated near a church of St Leonard. The Vicar General Ant.Tholossenti in 1658 closed it to public worship.

Pope John XXIII Peace Laboratory

The Hal Far Royal Air Force Station church of St.Nicholas was originally an aircraft hangar, but was converted for Divine worship. At the end of May 1967 Hal Far ceased to be an active Royal Air Force station, and was placed on a care and maintenance basis. Fr. Dionysius Mintoff, a Franciscan monk, conceived the idea of a Peace Laboratory. The complex including a proper church was officially opened on Thursday 25th March 1971 in memory Pope John XXIII. Joseph Roncalli, one of the late Pope's brothers took part in the opening ceremony. Since its opening, this Pope has been declared a Saint.

St.Agatha

The church was built in the 16th century and was closed by Bishop Balaguer in 1658 together with a large number of rural churches. It was rebuilt later and enlarged in 1854. In 1952 it was given a new floor. Mass is celebrated in the church on the feast day of St.Agatha on the 5th February.

St.Andrew

The chapel dedicated to St.Andrew was built in the late 16th century and was closed in 1658 but reopened some years later. Nowadays it is not being used liturgically. The site, which has been restored and is now a tourist attraction also consists of the old Xarolla windmill and a cluster of Late Roman catacombs which have been tentatively dated to the 3rd to 4th century AD.

St.Batholomew

The first church dedicated to St.Bartholomew at Zurrieq was built in 1482 but was closed in 1658. A new church was built between 1775 and 1784. Nowadays the various parish associations use this church for their meetings. A Mass is celebrated here every year on September 24.

St.Cirus Bubaqra

A church dedicated to the Eastern St Cirus (San Cir) had an apse mural of a Blessing Christ in the Siculo-Byzantine Pantocrator tradition. Nothing is left of this church.

St.George

Reported in 1575 by Mons.Dusina to exist in the then limits of Zurrieq. Nothing is left of this church nowadays.

St.James

Vincenzo Micci was the founder of a church of the Annunciation which stood close to the parish church. In 1575, according to Mons.Dusina's report, Vincenzo was still living and looking after its needs. On the 23rd February 1723, Bishop Gori Mancini authorized Fr Giorgio Velasco, the parish priest of Zurrieq, to demolish it and build another one dedicated to St.James. The site of another church originally dedicated to St.John Baptist, already demolished, was also included in this project. St.James church was blessed on the 24th June 1731. It is octagonal and has elegant baroque stone decoration inside. Nowadays there is daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in this church.

St.John Evangelist Hal Millieri

This old church was already built in 1481 and was rebuilt in later centuries. It is situated in front of the Hal-Millieri Annunciation church but no longer in use. It was lately restored.

St.Leonard

This church does not exist any more, but was reported within the then Zurrieq limits in 1762 by Mons. B.Rull.

St.Luke

This church was built in 1468 but because of its deteriorated state, Mons.Dusina ordered its restoration during his pastoral visit of 1575. Nowadays it is not in use.

Visitation Hal Millieri

In 1575 an old chapel stood on the left hand side of the Annunciation church of this hamlet. The Zammit family used to look after its needs. Its wooden altarpiece represented Our Lady together with St.Joseph and St. Joachim. In 1666 orders were given to replace its altar with a new one, but the following year it was closed to public worship. Only the foundations are left nowadays.