Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:13
[Click on the hyperlink above to watch the video.]
Valletta is en fête today for the feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck, the feast which marks the birth of Christianity in Malta.
Fine weather saw hundreds of people going to Valletta to enjoy the celebrations in the past few days and this morning, when Archbishop Paul Cremona led pontifical Mass. President George Abela, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Opposition leader Simon Busuttil led the congregation.
An old band-stand elevated on stilts to enable people to walk under it, has been erected for the first time in some 40 years at the corner of St Paul Street with St Lucia Street.
During the panegyric, Canon Lawrence Zammit spoke on how St Paul had been converted from persecutor of the Christians to a champion of Christianity. His arrival in Malta on a shipwreck had given a new identity to Malta.
Fr Zammit said the faithful must never ignore the migrants who did not come to Malta for holiday, but as they fled hardship and persecution. As a former AFM chaplain, he said he wanted to thank the soldiers for having saved the migrants. Quoting Pope Francis, he said that through the migrants, the faithful met the Lord.
He also spoke of the challenges facing the Church, including changing lifestyles which excluded the Lord and undermined traditional values, including the value of marriage between a man and a woman.
He hit out strongly at same-sex marriages and partnerships, noting that, as Pope Francis had said, this was an anthropological issue and a regression. God did not create gay marriage - man did, he said. Same sex marriage existed in 30 countries, and he prayed God and St Paul that Malta would not become the 31st, Fr Zammit insisted, as he urged MPs to safeguard Malta's traditional and religious heritage.