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St. Basil and St. Michael the Archangel Chapels of Mqabba
The architecture of St. Basil’s chapel (left) is a medieval gem. It is not exactly known when devotion to this saint of the Orthodox Church began in Mqabba. It is thought that in the Middle Ages, when the Muslims were invading Europe, some foreigners fled from their countries and sought refuge in Mqabba, where they built a church dedicated to the saint they venerated back home. In recent years studies have shown that this church already existed in 1486. A devotional feast used to be celebrated on June 14. According to tradition, this is the day when St. Basil was ordained priest. The titular painting was a wooden triptych Byzantine-style Icon, which depicted the Madonna in the center, and St. Basil and St. Joseph on the sides. Some say that the central place reserved to the Madonna is proof that the main feast was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, notwithstanding the dedication of the church to St. Basil. The church of St. Michael (right) is adjacent to the church of St. Basil. In fact, there is access from one church to the other through a side aperture, even though both churches have their own main doors. It seems that originally this church was built in 1550; however, it was rebuilt in 1669. The popularity of this church and the three statues in the village dedicated to this Archangel show the great devotion to St. Michael there was in Mqabba. [summarized and translated from Kappelli Maltin (Maltese Chapels) website]

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