Old Paintings of the Parish
  The painting of the Kuncizzjoni

The oldest painting that is to be found in the Zebbug parish church is without doubt the painting of the Immaculate Conception. This painting is now found in the chapel dedicated to her on one side of the sanctuary. This painting was the original titular painting in the original church before the parish was erected. The painting was also known as the painting of Santa Marija; according to historians, the picture was never intended to show the Immaculate Conception but the Assumption of Mary. The must have been confused with the Immaculate Conception since it shows the Blessed Virgin Mary standing with her hands on her chest rather with her hands lifted up into heaven. The image of the moon was included much later while the painting never had a snake thus proving that it was in fact the Assumption with a difference. This painting was considered miraculous by the old folk and still enjoys the devotion of the people of Zebbug. In 1723 the jewels around the neck of the Virgin were stolen by a farmer. Legend has it that as soon as he realized the gravity of his deed he felt so sorry that he despaired and committed suicide. In 1762 the same thing happened; the jewels were stolen and the culprit committed suicide too. Some history books state the old folk of Zebbug used to notice a certain yellow shade covering the face of the Virgin which they interpreted a signal that a disgraceful event was about to take place.

The Titular Painting

The titular painting which hangs in the present parish church shows the Blessed Virgin Mary assumed into heaven by the choirs of angels and being crowned by the Holy Trinity. According to Gozitan historian Gian Piet Agius de Soldanis, this painting was executed by the Maltese painter Dun Frangisk De Dominicis. The date of the actual execution is not known; however it is assumed that it goes back two centuries and a half.

The titular painting was solemnly crowned on the 18th August by Bishop Nikol G. Cauchi in the presence of the Archpriest Mgr. Alwig Vella, the clergy and the people of Zebbug. Various distinct personalities were invited to be present for this unique occasion; the main guest was Cardinal Luigi Ciappi OP, the theologian of the Papal Household. Cardinal Ciappi presided over a solemn concelebration and a procession which brought these festivities to their end. In order that this sublime occasion would never be forgotten, every year, on the anniversary of the coronation, a special Mass is celebrated in the parish presided by the parish priest and all the clergy.

The lateral paintings in the sanctuary represent the Nativity and the Presentation in the Temple of the Virgin Mary. These are the work of Antonio Zammit; Zammit executed them under the direction of Madiona. They were made in 1850 and were paid for by Rev. Dun Salv Galea. The painting of the Crucifixion was made in 1891 by Giuseppe Cali and it was paid from the legate left by Marquis Bugeja. At the time of its execution, it took the place of an earlier painting which had been condemned during a pastoral visit. The new painting was blessed by Bishop Gwann M. Camilleri OSA.

The painting of the Holy Family was painted by the Italian painter Virginio Monti. It was made in 1923 and it took the place of an earlier one.

The painting of the Holy Spirit was made by the Maltese painter Caruana Dingli. It was paid by Wigi Saliba and made in 1923.

The painting of Saint Michael the Archangel was made in 1923 and also painted by Caruana Dingli. The benefactor was Toni Bugeja.

The painting of Our Lady of the Rosary and the painting of Saint Francis Xavier are also the work of Caruana Dingli and they were both put in place in 1923. The reason why these paintings were all made in 1923 was because during that particular year a new setting was given to the altars and an apside was created for them. Some of the older paintings that were replaced are now in the sacristy of the church.

The paintings that are in the sanctuary on each side of the titular painting represent the Annunciation and the Visitation. They are the work of Professor Emvin Cremona. They were executed in 1945 and were paid for by Toni Cini.

The paintings of St Paul, St George and St Ursula – the patron saints of the Maltese archipelago – were made in 1947 and are also the work of Emvin Cremona. They were paid by Randu Dimech and his brothers, Grezzja Saliba and Orsola Dimech respectively.

The paintings of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew were made in 1949 by Emvin Cremona and were paid by Giuseppa Saliba and Loreta Saliba respectively.
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