Malta, The Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck


Malta is the most religious country in Europe…

…it has more religious public holidays than any other in Europe and 10th February is especially important because this is the The Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck which was bad luck for Paul but good fortune for Malta because it brought Paul to the island in the year 60AD and he then went promptly about converting the island to Christianity.

Saint Paul is the Patron Saint of Malta.

Valletta Malta

In a survey in 2010 95% of the population of Malta said that they were practising Catholics.  Nearby Italy (where the Pope lives) only registered 74%.  The least religious countries are all in the north where over 80% of respondents in Estonia, Norway, Denmark and Sweden all said that religion isn’t important!

Interestingly this survey didn’t seem to include the Vatican State where there is a population of only about five hundred official citizens and three-quarters of these are clergy so I imagine the response would surely have been no less than 100%

There have been four Papal visits to Malta, the last in April 2010 to celebrate the 1,950th anniversary of the shipwreck of St Paul on the island.  His ship ran aground in St Paul’s Bay (obviously) and I give you my word that I am honestly not making this up but in 1997 I too suffered the same fate.  Taking a speed boat ride with Tony Oki Koki ‘Mr Crazy’ Banis the boat broke down and we were stranded on the very same rock in a storm for twenty minutes or so until thankfully rescued.

saint-paul-shipwreckMalta waves

Last year I visited the town of Rabat to visit his grotto next to his church where he is supposed to have spent his time on Malta in hiding from the Roman soldiers who were searching for him – rather like Saddam Hussein, two thousand years later hiding from the American troops – also in a cave.

St Paul's Grotto Malta

28 responses to “Malta, The Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck

  1. I enjoy these small details because they make a place more interesting. 😀


  2. So why Andrew when you were shipwrecked didn’t they start calling you Saint Andrew?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another interesting post, St.Petcher of the Knackered Speedboat, and Well Done to Estonia, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading your posts for the details….


  5. Thank you for sharing. Interesting post and great photos!


  6. Who’d have thought that of Malta? You do turn up some great stats!
    I chuckled at the references to your saintliness (not wishing to be hurtful, you understand 🙂 )


  7. Pauls efforts remind me of the old adage ‘when given lemons’ make lemonade. I like Denzil’s response. Maybe that is your answer to having one name.:) –Curt


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  14. Your old posts never seem to age much. I do love the St Andrew concept but maybe the Scots were too quick for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Presumably Mr Tony Oki Koki ‘Mr Crazy’ Banis is still out there somewhere, teaching his brand of craziness to tourists of all nationalities!


  16. I’ve commented before, Andrew, but I have an added thought. Were you tempted to thank St. Paul for your rescue? Did he almost gain another convert? Grin.


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