Chapel of Saint Jacob, Luqa

Every day, on my way to work, I pass by a chapel in Luqa and wonder.  What is its history?  To whom is it dedicated?  When was it built?

These are all fleeting questions that come to mind but are then quickly forgotten; swept away by the tidal wave that is everyday life.  They quickly become a memory, one that is briefly remembered the following day, along with the internal promise to one day take the time to find an answer to them.  One day.

Well, that day came.

The chapel, I found out, is dedicated to Saint Jacob and can be dated back to 1550 even though it seems that, at the time, it stood somewhere else.

As was often the case with these wayside chapels, its fortunes ebbed and flowed depending on the presence or not of a benefactor.  It fell into disrepair on a number of occasions until someone new stepped forward to help in its upkeep.  There is even the theory that it might have been destroyed during the Great Siege by the invading corsairs, which is why it didn’t feature in a pastoral visit that took place in 1575.  That it has survived is, in itself, a huge feat.

That happened also because of a definite change in fortune at the turn of the last century when the chapel was turned over to the Fiott family and was then effectively rebuilt.  That is when the statues of St Peter and St Paul were added, both of which still guard it on top till this day, along with other embellishments both on the outside and on the in.

Having wondered for so long about the chapel, when the opportunity came I tried to take in as much detail as possible, even looking to find any graffiti on the façade or side walls.  The fact that so much work was done to it “recently” probably explains why there seems to be an absence of such markings yet it wasn’t all in vain as an engraving bearing the words PG, which rather delighted me as those are my own initials.

Other than that there is a faintly visible coat of arms near the main door.  It is difficult to make out the full details and, so, it is difficult to identify the family to whom it belongs which consequently would indicate who made it.

Which means that there is another question for me to ponder every time I pass by the chapel.  And one day I will find an answer to that too.  One day.  One day.

Want to visit this chapel?  Here are the directions.

St Peter
St Paul
PG - My Initials

The mysterious Coat of Arms


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