Church of Our Lady of Liesse

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Church of Our Lady of Liesse
Knisja tal-Madonna ta' Liesse
Church of Our Lady of Liesse.jpeg
View of the Church of Our Lady of Liesse
Church of Our Lady of Liesse is located in Malta
Church of Our Lady of Liesse
Church of Our Lady of Liesse
Church of Our Lady of Liesse
35°53′42.3″N 14°30′48.1″E / 35.895083°N 14.513361°E / 35.895083; 14.513361Coordinates: 35°53′42.3″N 14°30′48.1″E / 35.895083°N 14.513361°E / 35.895083; 14.513361
Location Valletta, Malta
Denomination Roman Catholic
History
Founded 21 November 1620 (1620-11-21)
Consecrated 23 November 1806
Architecture
Style Baroque
Years built 1620 (original church)
1740 (present church)
Specifications
Number of domes 1
Materials Limestone

The Church of Our Lady of Liesse (Maltese: Knisja tal-Madonna ta' Liesse) is a church in Valletta, Malta. The church was built in 1740 on the site of a 17th-century church. The church is located near the shores of the Grand Harbour, close to Lascaris Battery and the site of the fish market. It is especially venerated by the people of the port area. There is also devotion to Our Lady of Liesse in Liesse, France.[1]

One of the historical examples of the presence of Armenians in Malta is the Church of Our Lady of Liesse, built by means of the funds provided by the Bali of Armenia, Fra Giacomo Chenn de Bellay, one of the descendants of the Luzinian family.[2]

History

The first stone of the Church of Our Lady of Liesse was laid down on 21 November 1620, in a ceremony attended by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt and many other members of the Order of St. John. The church was built with funds donated by Fra Giacomo De Chess du Bellay, who was the Bailiff of Armenia.[3]

The façade of the first Church of Our Lady of Liesse, seen on the left

The church appears on the side of a 1664 sketch of the Barriera Wharf.[4]

The church was completely rebuilt by the Langue of France in 1740, and was blessed by Bartolomé Rull. The church was consecrated by Bishop Vincenzo Labini on 23 November 1806.[3]

The church was hit by German aerial bombardment in 1942 during World War II, but it was repaired and reopened on 21 February 1952. It was given to the Apostleship of the Sea on 15 September 1961.[3][5]

The church

The church is built in the Baroque style.[6] It has a dome and a belfry which was designed by Francesco Zammit. It has three altars.[3]

The titular painting of the church depicts a legend about three knights and Our Lady of Liesse, and it was painted by Enrico Arnaux.[7] The relics of the martyr St. Generoso are stored in the church, and they were transferred there from the chapel of Fort Manoel. A statue of the Virgin Mary which had originally been located at Fort Saint Elmo is now found in a niche in the church.[3]

The church building is a Grade 1 national monument, and it is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[8]

Further reading

  • August 10, 1618. Mario, Farrugia (1937). "La chiesa di Liesse" (PDF). Malta Letteraria. 12 (3): 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2016.

References

  1. ^ http://smom-za.org/saints/liesse.htm
  2. ^ "Church of the Madonna of Liesse (tal-Ferh)" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Micallef, Steven (29 November 2006). "Chapels Information Malta & Gozo". St.Gabriel Band Club. Balzan. Archived from the original on 8 March 2007.
  4. ^ "Malta, 1664, Valletta Harbour, Fontana Nuova, Schellinks, Drawing, Fine Art Print". Battlemaps.us. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016.
  5. ^ Scerri, John (undated). "Valletta". Our Lady of Liesse. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  6. ^ De Lucca, Denis (December 2013). "The city-fortress of Valletta in the Baroque age" (PDF). Baroque Routes. International Institute for Baroque Studies (9): 16. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ Fiaccola, Giuseppe (14 September 2014). "The church of Our Lady of Liesse and its legend". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 4 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Church of the Madonna of Liesse (tal-Ferh)" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2015.
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