Madonna Tal-Karmnu, Zurrieq, Malta
|Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was strong in Zurrieq by 1653, when a
painting of her was installed in the rebuilt parish church of St.
Catherine (est. 1436). In 1800, when Maltese defenders were resisting
Napoleon's occupation of their capital Valletta, a devotee of the Madonna
of Carmel, Giovanni Maria Borg, took refuge in Zurrieq on the south coast.
The following year, he established the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mt.
Carmel there with 90 charter members, including the mayor. In 1842, the
Confraternity commissioned a polychrome wood processional statue from a
leading sculptor, Salvu Psaila.
The Confraternity supports Our Lady's elaborate festivities in late
July, together with the Carmelite Society and the Queen Victoria Band
Club, which runs the Mt. Carmel Fireworks Factory. Although the festa of
the Madonna Tal-Karmnu in Zurrieq is especially spectacular, it is also
typical of Maltese religious celebrations. Almost everything, from the
processional statuary to the hymns and fireworks, has been locally and
lovingly created. Starting on the third Sunday, the streets are decorated
with lights, banners, and images of saints and angels. The flat roofs
around the town square support a forest of poles hung with flags by day
and lights by night. All week prayers, matins, vespers, and masses are
said, culminating on the fourth Sunday with a solemn high mass and
panegyric in praise of the Madonna, with choir and orchestra. After Sunday
vespers, fireworks announce the start of a long procession, which wends
through the streets to the square for more fireworks and the singing of
special hymns with band accompaniment, after which the procession returns
to the church for final benediction and sung antiphon. The Maltese website
for the Zurrieq devotions and festivities is www.talkarmnuzurrieq.tk.
(Information from Google's cache of www.carmelitesocietyzurrieq.com.
Picture from www.zurrieq.gov.mt.)
Also celebrated this date:
|Madonna dell'Angelo, Piovene Rochette, Vicenzo, Veneto, Italy. Festa del
voto (1631 plague). Reenactment pageant 1st Sun. July.|
|Nostra Signora delle Grazie, Santo Stefano di Magra, La Spezia, Liguria,
|Madonna dei Castiglioni, Madonnetta, La Spezia, Liguria, Italy|
|Madonna di Loreto, Fontana Liri, Frosinone, Latium, Italy (penultimate
|Madonna della Sanitŕ, Vallecorsa, Frosinone, Latium, Italy|
|Maria Santissima Consolatrice del Carpinello, Visciano, Napoli, Campania,
Italy (penultimate Sunday)|
|Madonna del Terzito, Leni, Messina, Sicily, Italy|
|El Carmen, Villapresente, Reocín, Saja-Nansa, Cantabria, Spain|