The statue of the Immaculate Conception will be carried in pilgrimage from Birkirkara to Cospicua in November to mark the 75th anniversary of a huge pilgrimage held to mark the end of the second world war.

The titular painting of Our Lady in Cospicua and the statue had been taken to the Basilica of St Helen in Birkirkara at the start of the war to shelter them from bombing, since Cospicua, being a dockyard town, was one of the main enemy targets.

Cospicua suffered considerable damage during the war, but its collegiate church survived unscathed (in contrast to the neighbouring parish churches of Vottoriosa and Senglea).

The pilgrimage to Cospicua had taken place on November 19, 1944 and was attended by many thousands of people. A similar event was held 25 years ago, and another commemoration will be held next month. 

The statue will be taken to Birkirkara on November 3, and a procession will be held there on November 10.

The statue starts its way back to Cospicua on the morning of November 16, when it will be taken to Christ the King parish church in Paola.

A pilgrimage from Paola to Cospicua will be held in the evening.

Solemn Mass to mark the 1944 anniversary will be held on November 19.