Sunday, October 04, 2009

St Paul's shipwreck in 60 AD near Malta

I was in Malta two weeks ago attending a meeting. According to Wikipedia, the Republic of Malta is a developed European country in the European Union, with about 300 square kilometers area over 400 thousands people, situated centrally in the Mediterranean Sea, 93 km south of Sicily (Italy) and 288 km north-east of Tunisia. Gibraltar is 1,826 km to the west and Alexandria 1,510 km to the east.

One of the historical aspects that interested me the most was that more than 1600 years before Christopher Columbus's adventures, around 60AD, St. Paul, the Apostle, had a shipwreck near Malta that was prominently recorded by St. Luke in Acts:27:28. (Older Bibles may use "Melita" but newer versions used Malta.) There's a bay in northeast shore of Malta called St.Paul's Bay. I did not have time to visit there. Pope Benedict XVI has announced to go to Malta to celebrate/commemorate 1950th year of St. Paul's shipwreck. Pope John Paul II visited Malta twice. Malta is a highly Catholic country. One taxi driver told me that Malta has only one Islam Mosque but more than 300 Catholic Churches. It's a pity the resort where we had the conference is in the middle of nowhere. I did not see any church nearby.

What most of the Malta travel lore did not seem to have alluded to is that the story of St Paul's shipwreck was actually painted by Nicolò Circignani, known as Pomarancio at the West Wall in the first floor of the Meridian Hall in Vatican.

With full view:

I found the detail about the paintings from here.

It has widely accepted that St Paul's shipwreck had been archaeologically substantiated. As the Acts 27 recorded, St Paul and companies battled severe storms for over 4 days. It is not known if they have ever encountered any freaque waves. They might have, there is no reason that they might not. But in the midst of continuous storms, no one can distinguish between storm waves and freaque waves, if they are there, anyway!

1 comment:

lawrence saliba said...

Congratulations for your blog.

The more you know about your destination, the more you enjoy your trips. Maximise your visit time in Malta. With the CityGuide you would be like having a car GPS device that will guide from one attraction to the next.

Enjoy every detail of history during your stay whilst you roam around like a local.

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