The Parish / Church
On 10th October 1942, during the peak of World War II, Ta’ Sannat village endured a grave tragedy resulting in substantial loss of life. Pursued by British Spitfire fighter planes, two German Junkers 88 bomber planes jettisoned their bombs to escape. Tragically, the bombs struck Ta’ Sannat: one hit a bakery at the village’s centre, the other close by. With the bakery bustling with customers at the time, the toll was significant: eighteen lives were lost, and numerous others suffered severe injuries. Every year on the 10th of October, a memorial stands to honour these victims of war, a poignant reminder of the tragic incident that unfolded.
Main religious festivities (eg village feast)
The primary annual celebration occurs each year in late July, honoring the patron Saint Margaret of Antioch. Other significant religious events encompass the ‘Quarant’ Ore’ / ‘Forty Hours’ exposition, culminating in a procession with the Blessed Eucharist. Similarly, a procession marks the feast of Corpus Christi in May / June. Smaller processional festivities include those venerating Our Lady of the Rosary in early October, St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st, and St. Adeodatus with his statue-reliquary in mid-November. Additionally, a noteworthy commemoration, albeit lacking a procession, pertains to the parish church’s consecration on October 19th.
Specific noteworthy art/religious pieces
Noteworthy is the main titular artwork of St. Margaret of Antioch, attributed to Stefano Erardi and believed to be finalised around 1675. Additional notable creations encompass the 18th-century portrayal of St. Margaret’s apparition to St. Adeodatus, attributed to Francesco Zahra. The fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross, credited to Rocco Buhagiar, and two lateral paintings within the church’s choir area, late works of Rocco Buhagiar, enrich the collection. Our Lady of the Rosary, completed in 1915 by Gianni Vella, further contributes. Among the sculptures, the titular statue of St. Margaret, fashioned by the French firm Galard et Fils of Marseilles and completed in 1891, occupies a prominent position. Elaborately embroidered vestments captivate during the titular feast days at the close of each July.
The Patron Saint & the Titular Statue
Since its establishment in 1688, the Ta’ Sannat parish has consistently venerated St. Margaret of Antioch as its patron saint. Orphaned early in life, Margaret found solace under the care of an elderly shepherdess who nurtured her in the Christian faith. Despite the advances of the local Roman prefect Olybrius, who sought her hand in marriage, Margaret steadfastly chose a life dedicated to Christ, spurning worldly attachments. In response, Olybrius subjected her to harrowing tortures in a futile attempt to sway her resolve. Her unyielding commitment persisted until her martyrdom around AD 304 during Emperor Diocletian’s persecution. Her veneration rapidly extended from the East to the West, finding a particularly strong resonance among expectant mothers.
Ta’ Sannat’s connection with St. Margaret dates back to a chapel established in her honor in 1615, preluding the eventual inauguration of Ta’ Sannat’s inaugural parish church in 1688. The church underwent successive expansions, culminating in 1863 when it embraced its first titular statue of St. Margaret. Crafted by Maltese artist Karlu Darmanin, this statue, unfortunately, failed to satisfy local ecclesiastical authorities’ preferences, leading to its prompt replacement. The existing statue, sculpted by the French firm Galard et Fils of Marseilles, emerged in 1891 and has since remained a steadfast presence.