The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
Emmanuel Galizia (1830-1906)
Overlooking Mgaar Harbour, Gozo, Malta
A church was founded here, on the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago, after the rock formation just below it was seen to resemble that at Lourdes. A statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was sculpted by the Maltese sculptor Antonio Busutill and placed in the grotto in 1879, and the foundation stone of the church above it was laid in 1888. It was finally blessed and opened in 1893 (Scerri). For this Galizia was honoured by the Pope, becoming a Knight of St Gregory the Great ("Malta Family History"). As with his Carmelite Church in Balluta Bay, its neo-Gothicism contrasts sharply with usual Maltese baroque style of church architecture. It could hardly have a more dramatic setting.