The annual celebration in honour of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary at the medieval chapel of Ħal Millieri (Żurrieq) will this year be held on Sunday 21 March 2010. For the occasion the chapel will be open to the public from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
Holy Mass will be celebrated at 10:00am, followed by the blessing of the adjoining churchyards. The service will be conducted by Rev. Fr Raymond Cassar, with a sermon on the Annunciation by Rev. Fr Nicholas Doublet. Din l-Art Ħelwa, the volunteer heritage organization that holds the chapel in trust, will be offering two guided tours of the site by historians Dr Stanley Farrugia Randon at 11:15am and Mr Salvator Mousu` at 3:15pm.
The chapel of the Annunciation at Ħal Millieri is a prime historical monument of Malta’s medieval past. The present edifice dates to around 1450, and excavations have shown it to have been built over the site of an earlier, possibly 13th century chapel, and a much older late-Roman rural complex.
The Ħal Millieri chapel is best known for its medieval architectural elements, and more so for the unique set of frescoes which adorn the side walls between the springing of the arches. The anachronistic cycle of effigies of saints, which is believed to have been copied from the earlier primitive chapel, have been expertly restored through the efforts of Din l-Art Ħelwa, as Malta’s best example of medieval vernacular religious art.
Owing to ongoing roadworks on the Valletta-Zurrieq main road the chapel is best and easily reached from Diamond Jubilee Square (tal-Mentna) at the end of the Imqabba bypass