"It is very fitting that we should come together in prayer at Mellieha, the oldest Marian Sanctuary on the island of Malta." – Apostolic Journey to Malta – address of His Holiness John Paul II to the faithful gathered at the Marian Sanctuary of Mellieha on Saturday, 26th May 1990.

In the Catholic Calendar, the month of May is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands organized its annual Marian Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha led by the Grand Prior H.E. Chev. Charles Savona-Ventura, the Chancellor H.E. Chev. Michael Ciavola, and the Commander of Gozo Chev. Carmel Saliba.

The occasion was further marked by the celebration of the Eucharist followed by a fund-raising lunch at the Le Jardins Restaurant in Mellieha. This shrine is one of the internationally recognized Marian Shrines originally constructed in the late 16th century and containing a Byzantine-style early 13th century fresco depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary with Christ on her right arm. This shrine has been the target of a number of Marian devotees including popes [Alexander VII and John Paul II] and grand masters of the Order of St John particularly the de Cottoner brothers.

The shrine was also in 2010 visited by the Spiritual Protector Emeritus of the Order of St Lazarus H.B. Patriarch Gregorius III accompanied by the current H.B. Patriarch Youssef I Absi.

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