The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, or ‘Jum id-Duluri’ has a special place in the hearts of thousands of Maltese.
The feast is traditionally celebrated on the Friday before Good Friday, with the faithful walking in the procession behind penitential pilgrimages in almost every town and village in Malta and Gozo.
Traditionally, some of the penitents walk barefoot or drag heavy chains tied to their feet, in fulfilment of some vow for favours received through divine intercession.
One of the most popular Our Lady of Sorrows processions is held in the church of Our Lady of Jesus in Valletta.
On Maundy Thursday, the ‘seven visits’ take place, where people visit to seven different churches to pay homage to the Altars of Repose.
On Good Friday a number towns and villages organise solemn processions of statues. Many include men bearing a cross and sometimes dragging chains as well tied to their bare feet, as an act of penance.
The mood completely changes on Sunday, when the ringing of church bells announces the Resurrection of Christ. Mid-morning on Easter Sunday, a procession with the statue of the Risen Christ moves along the streets accompanied by band playing festive tunes.