100 years of Tal Herba Sanctuary

Today a press conference was held at the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana, during which information was given regarding the special festivities being held in Birkirkara, on the occasion of the centenary of the solemn coronation of the image of the Madonna tal-Herba, venerated in the Sanctuary in the same locality.  

These festivities now come to their most salient stage during this month of July and in the first week of August.

This press conference was addressed by the Most Rev. Procost-Archpriest of Birkirkara, Can. Anton Cassar, Chales Mifsud author of the lyrics for the oratorio being held for the occasion and Philip Xuereb.

The programme of activities for this centennial commemoration has been unfolding for the past year and included various activities and manifestations: a course on Mariology and the Scriptures, special activities for children, adoloscents and youths, for the family and other categories.

Next in the programme, next Monday at 7.00 p.m. at the Sanctuary, is a keynote speech by H.E. the Apostolic Nuncio for Matla, Mgr. Tommaso Caputo about Marian Spirituality.

On the 13th of July at the same time and venue, there will be held a Symposium of a cultural aspect regarding the painting itself of the Madonna tal-Herba and the ex-voto paintings in the sanctuary. This will be addressed by Dr. Keith Sciberras of the University of Malta and researcher Joseph Muscat. Prof, Mons. Vincent Borg will be chairing.

Thursday 22nd July will be the date for the execution of the oratorio Omm }elwa u }anina. This will be held in S. Helen Basilica at 7.30 p.m. This oratorio, which has been specially written for the occasion of the centennial celebrations of the incoronation, has lyrics by Charles Mifsud, with music and direction by Mro. Clifford Cauchi. The Zabbar choir Nôtre Dame will be participating, together with soloists: tenor Charles Vincenti, baritone Lawrence Darmanin and sopranos Josielle Barbara, Tessie Farrugia and Doreen Camilleri. This oratorio will be under the patronage of H.E. the President of the Republic, Dr. George Abela.

From Tuesday 3rd August liturgical celebrations will be held at the Sanctuary itself. But on Saturday. But the concluding ceremony on Saturday 7th at 7.30 p.m. will be held in S. Helen Square. This will be presided by H.E. the Archbishop Mons. Paul Cremona O.P. and will include a mass animated by the three Birkirkara bands. At the end, there will be a short pilgrimage to the sanctuary where a monument to commemorate this event will be inaugurated.