The Acts of the Apostles tells us how when Saint Paul left for Rome to face charges he was shipwrecked. When the apostle and the other passengers arrived on the island, they learned its name was Malta.

“But they struck a sandbar and ran the ship aground. The bow was wedged in and could not be moved, but the stern began to break up under the pounding of the waves. … He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to the shore, and then the rest, some on planks, others on debris from the ship. In this way, all reached shore safely. Once we had reached safety we learned that the island was called Malta.” – Acts 27:41,43-44; 28:1

Today, the island he shipwrecked on is traditionally identified as Saint Paul’s Island, or Selmunett, a small island located off the town of Mellieħa near the north-east of the main island of Malta.

In 1844, a prominent statue of Saint Paul was erected on the island by two sculptors from the Maltan cities of Valletta and Lija. In 1990, Pope Saint John Paul II visited the island on boat when he visited Malta. That same year, an underwater statue entitled “Christ of the Sailors” was sunk there and remained for 10 years before it was moved.\

Photo credit: C.J. Everhardt / Shutterstock
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