Cospicua National Pilgrimage of the Immaculate Conception
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Malta miracle! How Cospicua Church defied the odds during the war


Cospicua is well known for its annual Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is held every year on 8 December.

The town’s statue of the Virgin Mary was sculpted in 1680. For safety reasons during the Second World War, church officials decided to move the statue to the Basilica of Birkirkara to protect it from the constant air raids on Cospicua. It was declared that if the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Cospicua was spared from the destruction, a pilgrimage would take place to bring the statue back. And so it was.

In 19 November 1944, the statue was brought back to Cospicua passing through the streets of Hamrun, Marsa, and Paola. On the memorable occasion, 16 club bands from towns and villages across Malta and Gozo took part in the huge procession, now known as the National Pilgrimage of the Immaculate Conception. It is recorded that more than 200 bombs fell in the vicinity of Cospicua Parish Church, but despite the devastation happening all around it, the building defied the odds and remained standing.

It was, and still is, considered by many a miracle.

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