The Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu is a revered Roman Catholic devotion associated with the National Shrine and Basilica of Ta’ Pinu, located near the village of Għarb on the island of Gozo, Malta. The basilica stands as an important pilgrimage site and a significant architectural marvel, attracting both local and international visitors.
The origins of the Ta’ Pinu devotion can be traced back to a miraculous event that occurred in 1883. A local woman named Karmni Grima claimed to have heard the voice of the Virgin Mary while praying in a 16th-century chapel dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady.
The voice requested that Grima recite three Hail Marys, emphasizing the importance of prayer in drawing closer to Jesus Christ. Following this event, numerous miraculous healings and conversions were attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu, leading to a surge in devotion.
As the number of devotees increased, the original chapel could no longer accommodate the growing crowds. Consequently, the construction of a new, larger basilica began in 1920 and was completed in 1932. Designed by Maltese architect Andrea Vassallo, the Neo-Romanesque style basilica features a striking facade with a large central rose window and two imposing bell towers.
The basilica’s interior is adorned with intricate mosaics, colorful frescoes, and numerous ex-voto offerings, which are tokens of gratitude from devotees for answered prayers or miraculous healings.
The original 16th-century chapel, where Karmni Grima heard the voice of the Virgin Mary, was preserved and incorporated into the new basilica. Visitors can still access the chapel, which houses a 17th-century painting of the Assumption of Our Lady, believed to be the work of Amadeo Perugino.
The National Shrine and Basilica of Ta’ Pinu is an important religious site in Malta and hosts several religious events throughout the year. One of the most significant events is the annual pilgrimage held in June, which sees devotees from across the Maltese Islands gather at the basilica to honor the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu.
The event features processions, prayers, and a festive atmosphere, with many participants walking barefoot as a sign of penance and devotion.
In summary, the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu is a cherished Roman Catholic devotion deeply rooted in the religious and cultural heritage of Gozo, Malta. The National Shrine and Basilica of Ta’ Pinu, with its remarkable architecture and spiritual significance, serves as a testament to the enduring faith and devotion of the Maltese people.