Churches

Our Lady of Pompei -Parish Church
Ever since 1436, Marsaxlokk formed part of Zejtun. At that time on one lived here because of the Turks but once these pirates no longer stopped frequenting our shores a few families started their farmhouses nearby. As far as 1650 we find chapels being constructed for the inhabitants to worship in. In 1890 Archbishop Pace issued a decree to build a new church dedicated to Our Lady of Pompei and the first stone was laid on 7th December 1890. The villagers made a petition to Archbishop Pace to have this church and the village as a separate parish. Their wish was granted and on 11th January 1897 Marsaxlokk was declared a parish with Dun Salv Delia as Parish Priest. The architect for our new church was Father Joseph Diacono from Gozo and the stone work was ready in two year’s time
 
In 1910 the new parish priest Busuttil added the choir and the two upper naves.
 
Another Parish priest Father Salv Gatt changed the facade and the main nave on a plan by architect Guze’Bellia.
The church is built in the form of a cross with a dome and two steeples. Its length is 118feet and its widest part is 87feet while the main nave is 18feet wide. One of the church’s greatest benefactors was the marchioness Rosa Apap Testaferrata, she donated half the money needed the build the main nave. The noble family Zammit Gauci from Zebbug donated the land upon which the church stands. Thanks also goes to the people living at that time in Marsaxlokk.
 
Father Salv Gatt also built the dome. The big bell was bought from the church of St. Dominic in Valletta. The new organ which was constructed in Germany cost Lm1,200 and was first played in 1954. The old one had been dismantled and stolen a piece at a time.
 
The titular picture was painted by the marquis Peppinu Testaferrata. The side paintings in the upper nave were painted by Joseph Caruana. The picture of St. Joseph was painted by Joseph Bonnici. That of St.Vincent was painted by the well known Maltese artist Guzeppi Cali. In 1893 Guzeppi Bonnici painted the picture of St. Andre, St Therese was painted by G. Mifsud in 1933 and Lazzaro Pisani painted the martyrdom of St. Catherine. Ramiro Cali painted the picture of St. Margareth in 1934 and Raphel Bonnici Cali painted the Transfiguration of Our Lord.
 
The statue of Our Lady of Pompei was brought from Lecce in Italy at the time of the parish priest Father Salv Delia. The statues of St. Joseph and St. Andrew were both sculptured by the Gozitan Austin Camilleri. The statue of St. Rita was brought over from Bolgano in Italy.
 
St. Nicholas
The chapel of St. Nicholas was rebuilt in 1650 by Mr.Gann Frangisk Gauci.
 
The Convent of Our Lady of Tas-Silg
 
The small church at Tas-Silg overlooking Marsaxlokk was rebuilt in 1833 instead of the one built in 1650 by Gio Frangisku Gauci. It is in the care of the Carmelitine Order.
 
This church was mostly frequented by the farmers and fishermen of the area.
 
It was built in its present state by the Marchioness Angiolina Muscat Cassia Dorell on a plan drawn by Frangisku Fabri from Vittoriosa.
 
In the acts drawn by the notary Massimiliano Troisi Murville on 25th September 1834, the Marchioness left duties and rights to any priest who was ready to undertake the running of the church and all the property surrounding it.
 
On 21st March 1927 the Carmelitine Order asked their superior permission to undertake the running of this church and its estate. The contract was drawn up by the notary Carmelo Farrugia. On 6th August 1933 the monks took over this church and the surrounding property.
 
On 8th April 1934 a set of three bells were blessed by Fr. Redent of the Cross. These bells were cast by Pasquale Marinelli and Son.
 
As soon as the monks took over they used the adjoining palace as a convent. On 13th November 1934 they had their first novices here. On 28th March 1937 the foundation stone of the new convent was laid and blessed by the Vice-Provincial Father Bernard. Present for the ceremony were the relatives of the benefectoress. The Architect was Andrea Micallef from Luqa.
 
On the 2nd October 1939 the new convent was ready. But owing to the 2nd World War the monks had to hand it over to the Army. On 20th November 1943 the Army left and once more it was taken over and run by the monks.
 
The church is rather small and has a dome. It consists of just one altar. The church which stood on the site before this one had been burnt down. There is a statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and another of St. Theresa.
 
St. Dominic
This chapel was built in 1653 and forms part of the Marnisi. The owners were Jacob Testaferrata and his wife Teodora Bonnici.
 
St. Paul
Another small church at Xorb il-Ghagin. It was built in the 18th Century.
 
St. Peter
It was built together with a house at the back by Father Peter Busuttil. It is privately owned the architect was Lorenzo Gafa and it was blessed in April 1862. In 1875 it was enlarged by E Gauci Testaferrata and later re-embellished by the Professor Dr. Nicholas Zammit. Once a year on 29th April, feast of St. Peter they used to bless olive branches and water. Another custom was the blessing of rings to help mothers during their pregnancy. These were privileges held only by this church.
 
Six members of the Testaferrata, Manduca and Gauci are buried there. This small church has a dome and three altars. The main painting which shows St. Peter as a Dominican Martyr was painted by Pascal Buhagiar. The second one depicts our Redeemer and the third one shows Our Lady of Mount Carmel which was painted by Joseph D’Arena. The statue of St.Ann was imported from France.
 
The Sacred Heart
It is said that the noble Margaret dei Conti Manduca financed this chapel in 1876. It was dedicated to the Sacred Heart and it is part of the “Kavallerizza” building.
 
Jesus of Nazareth Institute
On the 9th of September 1949 the Missionary Congregation of Jesus of Nazareth started a nursery school where children under five years of age were taught the first steps in reading, writing and numbers. In 1959 the family Preziosi donated a plot of land in Marsaxlokk to the institute where a home known as “Domus Marie” was built by the nuns. On the 12th of September the nuns moved into this building and on the 29th September of the same year it was blessed by Bishop Emm. Galea.
 
Apart from a nursery school this place now serves as a home for a few elderly ladies. The titular of the chapel is “Our Lady of Sorrows”.