A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, parish records. In some countries, it is known as the vestry; the sacristy is located inside the church, but in some cases it is an annex or separate building. In most older churches, a sacristy is near a side altar, or more behind or on a side of the main altar. In newer churches the sacristy is in another location, such as near the entrances to the church; some churches have more than one sacristy. Additional sacristies are used for maintaining the church and its items – such as candles and other materials; the sacristy is where the priest and attendants vest and prepare before the service. They will return there at the end of the service to remove their vestments and put away any of the vessels used during the service; the hangings and altar linens are stored there as well. The Parish registers are administered by the parish clerk. Sacristies contain a special wash basin, called a piscina, the drain of, properly called a "sacrarium" in which the drain flows directly into the ground to prevent sacred items such as used baptismal water from being washed into the sewers or septic tanks.
The piscina is used to wash linens used during the celebration of the Mass and purificators used during Holy Communion. The cruets, ciborium, altar linens and sometimes the Holy Oils are kept inside the sacristy. Sacristies are off limits to the general public; the word "sacristy" derives from the Latin sacristia, sometimes spelled sacrastia, in turn derived from sacrista, from sacra. A person in charge of the sacristy and its contents is called a sacristan; the latter name was given to the sexton of a parish church, where he would have cared for these things, the fabric of the building and the grounds. In Eastern Christianity, the functions of the sacristy are fulfilled by the Diaconicon and the Prothesis, two rooms or areas adjacent to the Holy Table. Work on finding the so-called "lost medieval sacristy of Henry III" at Westminster Abbey during an episode of the archaeological television programme Time Team revealed that the abbey had two separate sacristies; as well as a conventional sacristy for storage of ceremonial vessels such as the chalice and paten, the second, described in a 15th-century document as the "galilee of the sacristy" was determined to have been used for the robing and formation of the procession.
Altar cloth Antependium Sacristan Savilahti Stone Sacristy Sexton Vestry "Sacristy" article from Catholic Encyclopedia
Saint John's Co-Cathedral
St John's Co-Cathedral is a Roman Catholic co-cathedral in Valletta, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It was built by the Order of St. John between 1572 and 1577, having been commissioned by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière as the Conventual Church of Saint John; the church was designed by the Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar, who designed several of the more prominent buildings in Valletta. In the 17th century, its interior was redecorated in the Baroque style by Mattia Preti and other artists; the interior of the church is considered to be one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe. St. John's Co-Cathedral was commissioned in 1572 by Jean de la Cassière, Grand Master of the Order of St. John, it was named, in the Italian common language of the time, as Chiesa Conventuale di San Giovanni Battista. The church was designed by the Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar, responsible for the construction of many important buildings in Valletta, it is held that Cassar went to Rhodes to bring a plan of an existing church, by converted to a Mosque, to use it as a model for the present Co-cathedral.
However Cassar still took decisions over the final design and made modifications, thus became the sole architect of the Co-cathedral. Once St. John's was completed in 1577, it became the new conventual church of the Order instead of St. Lawrence's Church in the Order's former headquarters Birgu. Construction of the oratory and sacristy began in 1598, during the magistracy of Martin Garzez, they were completed by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt in 1604. For the first century of its existence, the church's interior was modestly decorated. However, in the 1660s, Grand Master Raphael Cotoner ordered the redecoration of the interior so as to rival the churches of Rome. Calabrian artist Mattia Preti was in charge of the embellishment, completely transformed the interior in the Baroque style; the annexes on the side of the cathedral were added and feature the coat of arms of Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena who reigned from 1722 to 1736. St. John's remained the conventual church of the Order until the latter was expelled from Malta with the French occupation in 1798.
Over time, the church grew to equal prominence with the archbishop's cathedral at Mdina. In the 1820s, the Bishop of Malta was allowed to use St John's as an alternative see and it thus formally became a Co-cathedral. In 1831, Sir Walter Scott called the cathedral a "magnificent church, the most striking interior seen." On in the 19th century, Giuseppe Hyzler, a leader of the Nazarene movement, removed some of the Baroque art of the cathedral, including the ornate altar in the Chapel of the Langue of France. The cathedral's exterior was damaged by aerial bombardment in 1941, during World War II escaping total destruction; the contents of the cathedral had been transferred elsewhere before the bombardment, so no works of art were lost. The cathedral was restored between the early 1990s. In 2001, the St. John's Co-Cathedral Foundation was set up to administer and conserve the cathedral and its museum; the sides of the cathedral were restored between 2008 and 2010, a complete restoration of the exterior began in July 2014 directed by architect Jean Frendo and eight restorers.
Restoration of the central part of the façade was completed in September 2015 and project completion was expected in 2017. Today, the cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta, is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands; the cathedral's exterior is built in the Mannerist style typical of its architect Girolamo Cassar. Its façade is rather well-proportioned, being bounded by two large bell towers; the doorway is flanked by Doric columns supporting an open balcony from which the Grand Master used to address the people on important occasions. On the side are two empty niches; the niches and the columns are a break with the rest of exterior Mannerist architecture. Overall, the exterior is rather austere and reminiscent of a fortress, reflecting both Cassar's style as a military engineer as well as the Order's mood in the years following the Great Siege of Malta in 1565; the cathedral's interior is ornate, standing in sharp contrast with the façade.
The interior was decorated by Mattia Preti, the Calabrian artist and knight, at the height of the Baroque period. Preti designed the intricate carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of John the Baptist; the figures painted into the ceiling next to each column appear to the viewer as three-dimensional statues, but on closer inspection we see that the artist cleverly created an illusion of three-dimensionality by his use of shadows and placement. Noteworthy is the fact that the carving was all undertaken in-place rather than being carved independently and attached to the walls; the Maltese limestone from which the Cathedral is built lends itself well to such intricate carving. The whole marble floor is an entire series of tombs, housing about 400 Knights and officers of the Order. There is a crypt containing the tombs of Grand Masters like Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Claude de la Sengle, Jean Parisot de Valette, Alof de Wignacourt. In 1666, a project for the main altar by Malta's greatest sculptor, Melchiorre Cafà, was approved and begun.
Cafà intended a large sculpture group in bronze depicting the Baptism of Christ. Following Cafà's tragical death in 1667 in a foundry accident while tending to this work in Rome, the plans were abandoned. Only in 1703, Giuseppe Mazzuoli, Ca
Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, or Saint Katharine of Alexandria known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine, is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity, was martyred around the age of 18. More than 1,100 years following her martyrdom, Saint Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counselled her; the Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November. In Catholicism she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. In 1969 the Roman Catholic Church removed her feast day from the General Roman Calendar. In 2002, her feast was restored to the General Roman Calendar as an optional memorial; some modern scholars consider that the legend of Catherine was based on the life and murder of the Greek philosopher Hypatia, with reversed roles of Christians and pagans.
According to the traditional narrative, Catherine was the daughter of Constus, the governor of Egyptian Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Maximian. From a young age she devoted herself to study. A vision of the Madonna and Child persuaded her to become a Christian; when the persecutions began under Maxentius, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty. The emperor summoned 50 of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death. Catherine was scourged and imprisoned, she was scourged so cruelly and for so long, that her whole body was covered with wounds, from which the blood flowed in streams. The spectators wept with pity. Maxentius ordered her to be imprisoned without food, so she would starve to death. During the confinement, angels tended her wounds with salve.
Catherine was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ visited her, encouraging her to fight bravely, promised her the crown of everlasting glory. During her imprisonment, over 200 people came to see her, including Maxentius' wife, Valeria Maximilla. Twelve days when the dungeon was opened, a bright light and fragrant perfume filled it, Catherine came forth more radiant and beautiful. Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage; the saint refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered. Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded. Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence. A milk-like substance rather than blood flowed from her neck. Angels transported her body to the highest mountain next to Mount Sinai. In 850, her incorrupt body was discovered by monks from the Sinai Monastery.
The monks found on the surface of the granite on which her body lay, an impression of the form of her body. Her hair still growing, a constant stream of the most heavenly fragranced healing oil issuing from her body; this oil produced countless miracles. In the 6th century, the Eastern Emperor Justinian had established what is now Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt, her relics include her left hand warm to the touch and her head. Her incorrupt body is not publicly displayed. Countless people make the pilgrimage to the Monastery to receive miracle healing from Saint Catherine. Donald Attwater dismisses what he calls the "legend" of Saint Catherine, arguing for a lack of any "positive evidence that she existed outside the mind of some Greek writer who first composed what he intended to be an edifying romance." Harold Davis writes that "assiduous research has failed to identify Catherine with any historical personage" and has theorized that Catherine was an invention inspired to provide a counterpart to the story of the later pagan philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria.
Modern scholarship supports Davis’ assumption that the legend of Catherine of Alexandria was based on the life and murder of Hypatia, with the roles of Christians and pagans reversed. Hypatia was a Greek mathematician and philosopher, brutally murdered by a Christian mob after being accused of exacerbating a conflict between two prominent figures in Alexandria, the governor and the bishop, Cyril of Alexandria. Sometimes cited as a possible inspiration of Saint Catherine, the writer Eusebius wrote, around the year 320, that the Emperor had ordered a young Christian woman to come to his palace to become his mistress, when she refused, he had her punished, by having her banished and her estates confiscated. Although Eusebius did not name the woman, she had been identified with Dorothea of Alexandria; the earliest surviving account of Saint Catherine's life comes around 600 years after the traditional date of her martyrdom, in the menologium a docume
Valletta is the capital city of Malta. Located in the south east of the island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population in 2014 was 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe. Valletta's 16th century buildings were constructed by the Knights Hospitaller; the city is Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture, though the Second World War left major scars on the city the destruction of the Royal Opera House. The city was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980; the city's fortifications, consisting of bastions and cavaliers, along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces and churches, led the ruling houses of Europe to give the city its nickname Superbissima— Italian for Most Proud. The peninsula was called Xagħret Mewwija or Ħal Newwija. Mewwija refers to a sheltered place; the extreme end of the peninsula was known as Xebb ir-Ras, of which name origins from the lighthouse on site.
A family which owned land became known as Sceberras, now a Maltese surname as Sciberras. At one point the entire peninsula became known as Sceberras; the building of a city on the Sciberras Peninsula had been proposed by the Order of Saint John as early as 1524. Back the only building on the peninsula was a small watchtower dedicated to Erasmus of Formia, built in 1488. In 1552, the watchtower was demolished and the larger Fort Saint Elmo was built in its place. In the Great Siege of 1565, Fort Saint Elmo fell to the Ottomans, but the Order won the siege with the help of Sicilian reinforcements; the victorious Grand Master, Jean de Valette set out to build a new fortified city on the Sciberras Peninsula to fortify the Order's position in Malta and bind the Knights to the island. The city was called La Valletta; the Grand Master asked the European kings and princes for help, he received a lot of assistance, due to the increased fame of the Order after their victory in the Great Siege. Pope Pius V sent his military architect, Francesco Laparelli, to design the new city, while Philip II of Spain sent substantial monetary aid.
The foundation stone of the city was laid by Grand Master de Valette on 28 March 1566. He placed the first stone in what became Our Lady of Victories Church. In his book Dell’Istoria della Sacra Religione et Illustrissima Militia di San Giovanni Gierosolimitano, written between 1594 and 1602, Giacomo Bosio writes that when the cornerstone of Valletta was placed, a group of Maltese elders said: "Iegi zimen en fel wardia col sceber raba iesue uquie". De Valette never saw the completion of his city. Interred in the church of Our Lady of the Victories, his remains now rest in St. John's Co-Cathedral among the tombs of other Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta. Francesco Laparelli was the city's principal designer and his plan departed from medieval Maltese architecture, which exhibited irregular winding streets and alleys, he designed the new city on a rectangular grid plan, without any collacchio. The streets were designed to be wide and straight, beginning centrally from the City Gate and ending at Fort Saint Elmo overlooking the Mediterranean.
His assistant was the Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar, who oversaw the construction of the city himself after Laparelli's death in 1570. The Ufficio delle Case regulated the building of the city as a planning authority; the city of Valletta was complete by the early 1570s, it became the capital on 18 March 1571 when Grand Master Pierre de Monte moved from his seat at Fort St Angelo in Birgu to the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta. Seven Auberges were built for the Order's Langues, these were complete by the 1580s. An eighth Auberge, Auberge de Bavière, was added in the 18th century. In Antoine de Paule's reign, it was decided to build more fortifications to protect Valletta, these were named the Floriana Lines after the architect who designed them, Pietro Paolo Floriani of Macerata. During António Manoel de Vilhena's reign, a town began to form between the walls of Valletta and the Floriana Lines, this evolved from a suburb of Valletta to Floriana, a town in its own right. In 1634, a gunpowder factory explosion killed 22 people in Valletta.
In 1749, Muslim slaves plotted to kill Grandmaster Pinto and take over Valletta, but the revolt was suppressed before it started due to their plans leaking out to the Order. On in his reign, Pinto embellished the city with Baroque architecture, many important buildings such as Auberge de Castille were remodeled or rebuilt in the new architectural style. In 1775, during the reign of Ximenes, an unsuccessful revolt known as the Rising of the Priests occurred in which Fort Saint Elmo and Saint James Cavalier were captured by rebels, but the revolt was suppressed. In 1798, the Order left the French occupation of Malta began. After the Maltese rebelled, French troops continued to occupy Valletta and the surrounding harbour area, until they capitulated to the British in September 1800. In the early 19th centur
Assumption of Mary
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodoxy, the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory"; this doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility. While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Theotokos, whether Mary had a physical death has not been dogmatically defined. In Munificentissimus Deus Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary's victory over sin and death through her intimate association with "the new Adam" as reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying, written, Death is swallowed up in victory".
The New Testament contains no explicit narrative about the death or Dormition, nor of the Assumption of Mary, but several scriptural passages have been theologically interpreted to describe the ultimate fate in this and the afterworld of the Mother of Jesus. In the churches that observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day celebrated on 15 August. In many countries, the feast is marked as a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church; the Assumption was defined as dogma by the Catholic Church in 1950, when Pope Pius XII defined it ex cathedra in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. The Catholic Church itself interprets chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation as referring to it; the earliest known narrative is the so-called Liber Requiei Mariae, which survives intact only in an Ethiopic translation. Composed by the 4th century, this Christian apocryphal narrative may be as early as the 3rd century. Quite early are the different traditions of the "Six Books" Dormition narratives.
The earliest versions of this apocryphon are preserved in several Syriac manuscripts of the 5th and 6th centuries, although the text itself belongs to the 4th century. Apocrypha based on these earlier texts include the De Obitu S. Dominae, attributed to St. John, a work from around the turn of the 6th century, a summary of the "Six Books" narrative; the story appears in De Transitu Virginis, a late 5th-century work ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis that presents a theologically redacted summary of the traditions in the Liber Requiei Mariae; the Transitus Mariae tells the story of the apostles being transported by white clouds to the deathbed of Mary, each from the town where he was preaching at the hour. The Decretum Gelasianum in the 490s declared some transitus Mariae literature apocryphal. An Armenian letter attributed to Dionysus the Areopagite mentioned the supposed event, although this was written sometime after the 6th century. John of Damascus, from this period, is the first church authority to advocate the doctrine under his own name.
His contemporaries, Gregory of Tours and Modestus of Jerusalem, helped promote the concept to the wider church. In some versions of the story, the event is said to have taken place in Ephesus, in the House of the Virgin Mary; this is a localized tradition. The earliest traditions say. By the 7th century, a variation emerged, according to which one of the apostles identified as St Thomas, was not present at the death of Mary but his late arrival precipitates a reopening of Mary's tomb, found to be empty except for her grave clothes. In a tradition, Mary drops her girdle down to the apostle from heaven as testament to the event; this incident is depicted in many paintings of the Assumption. Teaching of the Assumption of Mary became widespread across the Christian world, having been celebrated as early as the 5th century and having been established in the East by Emperor Maurice around AD 600. St. John Damascene records the following: St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon, made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty.
The Assumption of Mary was celebrated in the West under Pope Sergius I in the 8th century and Pope Leo IV confirmed the feast as official. Theological debate about the Assumption continued, following the Reformation, but the people celebrated the Assumption as part of the cult of Mary that flourished from the Middle Ages. In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined it as dogma for the Catholic Church. Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott stated, "The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus-narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries.... The first Church author to speak of the bodily assumption of Mary, in association with an apocryphal transitus B. M. V. is St. Gregory of Tours." The Catholic writer Eamon Duffy states that "there is no historical evidence whatever for it." However, the Catholic Church has never asserted nor denied that its teaching is based on the apocryphal accounts. The Church documents are silent on this matter and instead rely upon other sources and arguments as the basis for the doctrine.
Psychologist Carl Jung, interested in archetypes and comparative religion, celebrated that the Catholic Church had elevated the Virgin Mary (whom
Malta known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, 333 km north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2, Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country, its capital is Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union. Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC, its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Greeks, Normans, Knights of St. John and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet.
It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege, the George Cross appears on Malta's national flag. The British Parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen; the country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, joined the European Union in 2004. Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese is claimed to be an apostolic see because Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on "Melita", according to Acts of the Apostles, now taken to be Malta. While Catholicism is the official religion in Malta, Article 40 of the Constitution states that "all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship."Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The origin of the name Malta is uncertain, the modern-day variation is derived from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey"; the ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet" for Malta's unique production of honey. The Romans called the island Melita, which can be considered either a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα; this spelling is found in the New Testament. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven", or'port' in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. Malta has been inhabited from around 5900 BC, since the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. A significant prehistoric Neolithic culture marked by Megalithic structures, which date back to c. 3600 BC, existed on the islands, as evidenced by the temples of Mnajdra and others.
The Phoenicians colonised Malta between 800 -- 700 BC, bringing their Semitic culture. They used the islands as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean until their successors, the Carthaginians, were ousted by the Romans in 216 BC with the help of the Maltese inhabitants, under whom Malta became a municipium. After a period of Byzantine rule and a probable sack by the Vandals, the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870; the fate of the population after the Arab invasion is unclear but it seems the islands may have been depopulated and were to have been repopulated in the beginning of the second millennium by settlers from Arab-ruled Sicily who spoke Siculo-Arabic. The Muslim rule was ended by the Normans who conquered the island in 1091; the islands were re-Christianised by 1249. The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, were controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou. In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.
The French under Napoleon took hold of the Maltese islands in 1798, although with the aid of the British the Maltese were able to oust French control two years later. The inhabitants subsequently asked Britain to assume sovereignty over the islands under the conditions laid out in a Declaration of Rights, stating that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, without control." As part of the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British colony rejecting an attempted integration with the United Kingdom in 1956. Malta became independent on 21 September 1964. Under its 1964 constitution
Cospicua known by its titles Città Cospicua or Civitas Cottonera, is a double-fortified harbour city in the South Eastern Region of Malta. Along with Birgu and Senglea, it is one of the Three Cities, located within the Grand Harbour to the east of the capital city Valletta. With a population of 5,395 as of March 2014, it is the most dense city of the Three Cities; the Maltese name "Bormla" or Burmula derives from Bir Mula. Cospicua has been inhabited since Neolithic times, its maritime facilities started during ancient times around the Phoenician era c. 600 BC. Prior to the 18th century it was known as Bormla, a name, still in use, its fortification walls, constructed to protect the town and its neighbours Birgu and Isla, were built by the Order of Saint John. Construction was not completed for another 70 years. In 1722, Grand Master Marc'Antonio Zondadari declared Bormla a city and in view of its strong bastions named it Città Cospicua. In 1776, the Order of St. John started to construct a dockyard, to play a vital role in the development of this city.
During British rule in Malta, the Royal Navy made extensive use of the dockyard during the Crimean War, the First World War and during the years preceding the Second World War. Cospicua, along with the rest of the area around the Grand Harbour, was bombed during this last war as Malta was under siege by the Axis powers; as Malta became an independent country, the city's dockyard became a bone of contention between the General Workers Union, to which most of its employees belonged, successive governments. In the early 21st century the dockyard was downsized under the governance of the Nationalist Party after it was found that the cost of operating the site was responsible for around 25% of Malta's national debt. Plans are now underway for the transformation of an area of the dockyard into a commercial and tourist centre. Cospicua is known as Belt l-Immakulata or the City of the Immaculate, referring to the Immaculate Conception or the Virgin Mary, the patron of the city; every year a feast is being held on 8 December.
Cospicua celebrates its feast, held annually on 8 December in honour of the Immaculate Conception. Cospicua is known for its celebration of Good Friday, which began in the 18th century and is a popular tourist attraction. A statue of the Resurrection of Jesus is traditionally carried across the city's streets to symbolize Jesus' triumph over death. Smaller statues are exhibited in the city; the people of Cospicua started the famous and artistic first'Mejda tal-Appostli', which means, the table of the Apostles. It consists of a display showing the food, eaten during the Last Supper of Jesus and the 12 Apostles, it consists of different stories of the Bible, made with coloured rice and salt, on plates. Cospicua's football team is the St. George's F. C. thought to be the oldest on the island. Documentation shows that by 1885 there were three football teams at Cospicua, which merged to form the current club in 1890. Cospicua is famous for its Regatta team, one of the first; this team has won 17 shields second only to Senglea.
The 1st Cospicua Scout Group as formed in 1917. The St. George's Band Club was founded in 1862, its first name was'La Banda dei Cospicuani' but when Giorgio Crispo Barbaro, Marquis of St. George became first president of the Band, the name was changed to the present one; the city's fortifications, namely the Santa Margherita Lines and the Cottonera Lines, are intact although they are in need of restoration. Saint Helen's Gate known as Vilhena Gate, is a gateway which forms part of the Santa Margherita Lines, a tourist attraction itself; the Dock area has some Georgian architecture. The Parish church of the Immaculate Conception, the church of St. Theresa, the chapels of St. Paul and St. Margaret are attractions; the celebrations and feasts on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the village feast on 8 December attract tourists, as well as the statues of the Resurrection and the Immaculate Conception. Cospicua has an ethnography, social history, anthropology museum and cultural venue known as Bir Mula Heritage.
A 16th century lodge built by the Order of St John known as The Lodge, is used for exhibitions and other events. Adjacent to the lodge is another 16th-century building which houses a community radio station Kottoner 98FM; the first recorded census of the Maltese islands took place in 1901. Cospicua is recorded as having a population of 12,148 people; this figure remained stable until 1931, but by 1948 had reduced to 4,822. After rising to 9,095 by 1957 and 9,123 in 1967, the city's population fell in the following three censuses. A March 2011 estimate gave the population of Cospicua as 5,658, its population stood 5,479 as of March 2013, 5,395 in March 2014. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici. Cospicua's local council was established by the Local Councils Act of 1993; the first election was held on 16 April 1994 and Joseph Carbonaro was elected as mayor. After the 2000 elections, Paul Muscat became mayor and after the 2003 elections he was succeeded by Joseph Scerri. Scerri remained mayor for 10 years before being succeeded by Alison Zerafa after the 2013 elections.
The present local council is made up of the following members: Alison Zerafa Ivan Agius