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Eighteen chapels and churches dedicated to the Annunciation

­Did you know there are 18 churches and chapels on these islands dedicated to the Annunciation? The earliest paintings date from the 16th century.

Timothy Scicluna, a St Aloysius Sixth Form student, has researched this theme in depth for his Systems of Knowledge project.

When he had all the necessary material in hand, Mr Scicluna featured his work as a calendar, copies of which were donated to the parishes of Balzan and Tarxien whose patron is Our Lady of the Annunciation. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar were earmarked for the restoration works in the two churches at both parishes.

The year-long assignment involved a lot of work, including appointments with church and chapel curators and photo sessions where logistical problems invariably cropped up. Historic data were collected from various sources, which are referenced in a calendar and a booklet. Both publications are a treasure trove on the iconography of the Virgin apart from historic details about the churches and chapels themselves.

“The calendar not only served the original purpose of being presented for the Systems of Knowledge project but it also helped promote an appreciation of the art and significance of the Marian culture on these islands,” Mr Scicluna said.

The Church celebrates the liturgical feast of the Annunciation on March 25, a special day for people named Nancy or Gabriel.

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