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The Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck - Malta

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Unique to Malta the feast of the shipwreck of St Paul is held annually on the 10th of February. The feast celebrates the events that proceeded, and including, the shipwreck of St Paul off the shores of Malta.

Although the exact location of the shipwreck was never determined, it is said to have been on the rocks near the shore of Malta. As the story goes, St Paul was travelling to Rome as a prisoner to stand before Caesar, being trialled as a political rebel. However, the ship carrying him, and the 247 others, was caught in a violent storm, leading to it being broken up on the Maltese coast. St Paul was warned of the shipwreck beforehand by God who agreed to spare the lives of everyone on board. All managed to swim to ashore, to be greeted by the local population. While St Paul was standing by a fire, he was bitten by a poisonous snake, yet did not incur any ill effects or injuries. The Maltese took this as a sign that he was perhaps a god. Paul, however, soon shows them it was God’s p…