Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Walking through the town of Rabat, and throughout Malta, you will find alcoves everywhere - many filled with religious-type statues. The fresh flowers gave an added touch of colour to this alcove.
The Church of St. Paul in Rabat dates back to the 17th century and is built over one of Malta’s earliest chapels on the spot it is said that Saint Paul preached at in 60 AD. Beneath the Church of St. Paul lies a grotto known as Fuori le Mura (outside the city walls) and is now known as St. Paul’s Grotto. This grotto is traditionally held to be the place of refuge that Saint Paul took when shipwrecked some 1950 years ago on the island of Malta. Another story has it that the Apostle Paul was imprisoned here in this place. Also, according to local Christian belief, the stone scraped from these grotto walls have special healing powers and no matter how much stone is scraped away, the cave never alters in size.
When I visited the grotto, I overheard a tour guide also mention that it was also once a Roman prison and pointed out the holes in the stone ceiling from where the prisoner’s were once chained up to.
Below, in the grotto, is a marble statue of Saint Paul surrounded by dimly lit catacombs.
I just found this neat panoramic view of this grotto here: http://www.360cities.net/image/st-pauls-grotto-rabat-malta#-307.17,-0.04,51.7