St Theresa’s Church Overview in Bormla, Malta

The church and friary of the Discalced Carmelites were built in 1625 and for over two centuries they were the only church and friary which the Discalced Carmelites had in Malta. The church has a small crypt underneath. Dedication date 18th March 1797.

The church of St. Theresa of Avila, belonging to the Discalced Carmelite Friars, has its own historical and artistic importance. The Carmelites came to Malta in 1418 and built their first church and convent in the limits of Rabat. Almost 60 years after the Carmelite reform by St. Theresa of Avila, the Discalced Carmelites or Theresian Friars celebrated their first Mass in Cospicua on the spot where their church and convent were to be erected. Thus the church of St. Theresa in Cospicua was probably the first in the Christian world to be dedicated to the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites. For about 150 years this Cospicua convent served as an International College for Discalced Friars who intended to go to the Missions, but today it serves as a Novitiate. The superior of the Italian Congregation realised the importance of establishing such an international missionary college in Malta, due to the island’s strategic position. About 250 students received their training for the missions here. Knisja Santa TerezaFra Lucas Garnier, a knight of the Order of St. John, painted the main altarpiece, representing the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, and the canvas of St. Francis on a lateral altar. The altarpiece of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is probably the work of Mattia Preti or of his bottega, whereas Giuseppe D’Arena painted the Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple. Other notable works in this church include four sculptures in wood: a bust of Our Lady of Sorrows by Mariano Gerada; the Dead Christ by Xandru Farrugia; St. Elijah by Pietro Paolo Azzopardi; and St. John of the Cross, attributed to the famed Spanish sixteenth-century sculptor Gregorio Fernandez. This church has its own choir, Sta. Tereza, which consists of about 20 members. The choir takes part in liturgical functions in this church especially the novena of the feast of the Patroness, St. Theresa of Avila, the feasts of St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Child Jesus of Prague, at Christmastime and Holy Week,. Sometimes it is also asked to sing during wedding Masses, anniversaries and other religious functions outside Cospicua.

St Theresa’s Church Tips & Guide

Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 6.00pm – 7.00pm Sun: 8.00am – 9.30am and 3.45pm – 4.45pm

Contact information: Father Prior – 00356 2182 6111 or 00356 2182 2343 

Location Bormla
Opening Hours: 00:00 - 00:00

St Theresa’s Church Video

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