It is not yet known when exactly the Franciscans came first to
Malta, but we can find maltese franciscans before 1270. We can
easily say that the Conventual Franciscans came to Malta before the
year 1347 and built their church and friary near the hospital of St.
Francis, which later on came to be known as "Santo Spirito"
hospital. In 1640 the friary was rebuilt as it was no longer a place
suitable to live in.
St Francis Church Important Dates
1334: A friar from the Sicilian Province Henry of Cefalu became
Bishop of Malta. Historians have it that the beginning of the
franciscans in Malta happed during his time(1334-1370).
Various friars were Rectors of St Francis Hospital annexed to this
Church since those early days. Nicholas Papalla was the first to
receive the rectorship from King Ludwig of Aragona (1342-1355). The
Hospital was called of the Franciscan Church. So the Church existed
before the Hospital. Today's Church
the church was also rebuilt by Lorenzo Gafà after being extensively
damaged by the 1693 earthquake.
this church a devotion to Our Lady of Good Health "Madonna tas-Sahha"
developed and continued to increase even when a new painting of the
Virgin took the place of the older one: people visiting their sick
relatives at the Santo Spirito Hospital and at the Saura hospital
used to visit the church to pray the Virgin requesting her help for
their sick relatives. The painting was solemnly crowned on the 4th
Marriages can be
celebrated in this church.
The friars are sought for their renowned life and service. They
administer confessions, spiritual direction and preaching in various
parishes. Several friars give service on Radio and Television both
local and national. Several others are involved in the government of
The Friars greet the pilgrims that visit Our Lady of good Health and
guide them in the prayers, seeking the blessings and graces that God
bestows on those who come to him, attracted by the appeal that Our
Lady and the Saints make to the people of good will. Pray and it
shall be granted to you.