Tomorrow, Kerċem celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Bishop Mario Grech will lead a solemn Mass with the participation of St Gregory Choir under the direction of Mro Carmel P. Grech at 9am.

A pilgrimage with the statue of Our Lady will leave the church at 7.30pm. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statue of St Gregory the Great, found at the church, will also be carried in the pilgrimage alongside that of Our Lady.

Throughout the centuries, Gozitans turned to three particular saints – St Gregory, St George and St Ursula – during difficult moments. For the past months, the people of Kerċem have placed the statue of St Gregory on the presbytery seeking his help against the pandemic.

As of 1592, on March 12 of each year, members of confraternities, and most of the population of Gozo walked in a votive procession from the Matrice (the Cathedral), to a chapel dedicated to St Gregory at Għar Gerduf, on the outskirts of Rabat, later Victoria.

The procession must have begun in thanksgiving to St Gregory for his intercession against plagues and natural catastrophes. There were various instances when the statue of St George was brought out of its niche in times of epidemics and lack of rain and it was also carried during penitential pilgrimages.

Following the pilgrimage, Holy Eucharist benediction will be held on the church parvis.

The pilgrimage will be accompanied by the St Gregory Band of Kerċem.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us