Malta is not all beaches and hedonistic fun. Take time out on your travels there to pop into some of the many historic sights.

Take the Mosta Church for example.


A view of the massive exterior of the Mosta Church


The Mosta Church

Malta wasn’t at all prepared for the Second World War. She had no aircraft but British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said, “this is a time to show strength, not weakness.” Aircraft pilots were not trained or ready for battle.

In January 1941, the Luftwaffe (the German air force) came to Malta on bombing missions from Sicily and then in November they started using Stukas (dive bombers). In order to win the air battle, Malta needed Spitfires. Forty-seven had flown in on 20th April  but they were monitored on radar and bombed as soon as they landed. In what became known as the “glorious 10th of May,” sixty-three German aircraft were damaged or destroyed.

During the Second World War, Malta was the most bombed place on earth. More than 14,000 bombs were dropped, destroying about 30,000 buildings but Malta still fought on. More than 1,500 civilians were killed in Malta during the Second World War.

However, the devout Maltese Catholics, were convinced Malta wouldn’t fall to the enemy. In 1942 a bomb fell right down through the roof of Mosta church. This was one of the biggest churches and reputedly there were over 250 people attending a service at that time. No one was killed and this was considered as a miracle.

A replica bomb is now in the church.


A replica of the bomb

The George Cross

On April 15th, 1942, King George V1 awarded Malta for bravery during the Second World War. King George wrote a letter saying:

The Governor of Malta

To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.

The George Cross is made of silver and is shaped as a cross. In the centre is a circle with St George riding his horse to find the dragon. Round the circle are the words “For Gallantry” . At the back of the George Cross s engraved  “To the Island of Malta, 15 April 1942”

A magnificent altar inside the Mosta Church


Part of the magnificent interior – the bomb hole is high up n the ceiling


Religious artefacts abound


Handpainted frescoes





9 Responses to “Malta’s Mosta Church – when the bomb came through the roof”

  1. laura on January 7th, 2013 9:33 pm

    i have been to the church and it is amazing the pure size and beauty of it. the history of malta is something you can not learn in a day. ive been going to malta with my family for many year and it still leaves me amazed as to how beautifull that tiny island is.

  2. jaci Rayner on April 16th, 2015 6:55 pm

    My partners nonna was there she is 91 now. Are there any other people in this church that are still alive that survived this horrible time.

  3. Michael Norman Ward on June 29th, 2015 12:30 pm

    I last visited malta in 2010 and on the saturday went up to Mosta and was amazed at the size of the bomb that did not explode in April 1942. Ithink my father was in the dome that night being confirmed catholic. Any help to help me would be deeply appreciated. Iam hoping to be there for the 75th anniversary celebrations in 2 years time.

  4. Joe Deguara on July 31st, 2015 4:15 am

    I was born in an 8 hours air raid on the 26/03/1942 in Mosta, and according to my elder sister, when my father took me to be baptized a few days later the priest would not baptize me as my father was a Strickland voter and that was a no no in the eyes of the church. Needless to say my father warned the priest that the responsibility lays on his shoulder, and walked out of the church. Cutting a long story short, the priest sent for my father to have me baptized on the 9/04/1942 at 4.00 p m. Yhe rest is history as at around 5.00 p m the bomb came trough the dome.

  5. Rosemarie Zenker on August 21st, 2015 5:16 am

    I was at this church and I loves every minute of it my dad was born and lived in Malta until his family came to America. I not only visited this church but I have seen other sites I enjoyed my stay in Malta

  6. Gregory Caruana on April 10th, 2016 2:19 am

    I remember my late father say that he was there together with about 300 people at an afternoon ceremony .and he says that the bomb came through the dome hit the figure of Christ in one of the lunette on the righthand side ,then landed on some chairs and with the astonishment of all miraculously didn’t that time I was about 7 months old.

  7. sally sharpe on December 1st, 2016 3:39 pm

    Hi i was there a week today…abs beautiful…they had no dvds of the ww2 bomb i wanted one for my partner for christmas this year 2016 hed be over the moon…anyone got any ideas please..many thanx

  8. sally sharpe on December 1st, 2016 3:41 pm

    Ps for my email to be passed on if anyone knows where i can get one 😎

  9. Michelle on April 11th, 2017 8:10 pm

    My great grandmother was in the church when the bomb fell, she was pregnant with my grandfather at the time. He was born soon after the war ended and named Victor for victory

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