Jesus the Redeemer (Maltese Chapel)
The shinre of Jesus the Redeemer was built by the Multese community in memory of the devotions offered to Jesus the Redeemer at Senglea, Malta.
The statue of Jesus the Redeemer, venerated in the Oratory of the Holy Cross which is annexed to the Sanctuary Basilica of our Lady of Victories at Senglea, Malta, is a life-sized effigy representing Christ falling under the weight of the Cross on His way to Calvary, without any doubt, the shrine with the statue of Jesus the Redeemer, is one of the oldest and most frequented of all national sanctuaries in Malta. This statue is, in reality, one of a group of eight life-sized statues (representing various stations in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ) which are found in the town of Senglea, and which are carried in procession around the streets of the town of Senglea on the evening of Good Friday.
No records have been found about the origins of the statue of Jesus the Redeemer, and its maker is unknown, it is surely dates back to at least the early years of the eighteenth century. However, its very early attraction as a centre devotion, initially for the inhabitants of Senglea and subsequently for the whole population of Malta can be raced back to the very early years of its existence.
During the second decade of the eighteenth century, the Confraternity of the Holy Cross was proposing the construction of an oratory, to be annexed to the parish church, where it could hold its congregations and devotions. It was from the very beginning, planed to included in its construction a special place as a niche where the statue of Jesus the Redeemer could be exposed for the veneration of the faithful. Thus, when in the year 1727 the oratory was blessed and dedicated for religious service, the statue of Jesus the Redeemer instantly found a rightful place therein.
An extraordinary event in the history of the city of Senglea contributed to promote further devotion to this shrine. In the year 1813, a deadly pestilence spread throughout Malta like wildfire, reaping hundreds of victims every week. The Chapter of Senglea vowed solemnly, that if their city was spared from this tremendous affliction, they would perpetually hold three annual votive processions as a sign of thanksgiving; one with the statue of Jesus the Redeemer the the third Sunday after Pentecost, another with the statue of Saint Roque on the Sunday following the feat of the Assumption, and the third with the statue of Our Lady of Victories on the 8th of September.
Through divine protection, the city of Senglea was spared and consequently the devotion to Jesus the Redeemer acquired freater significance and importance as witnessed by the numerous votive offerings by persons who have been healed from physical or spiritual illnesses though the prayers offered at this shrine and the endless stream of believers who every day of the week (and particularly on Fridays) come from all parts of Malta and Gozo to pray and render thanks before the devout image of Jesus the Redeemer.