Franciscan Church of St Mary of Jesus

The Franciscan Church of St Mary of Jesus is a church in Valletta, Malta, which is dedicated to St Mary of Jesus and is cared for by the religious order of Friars Minor. It came to be popularly known by the Maltese as Ta' Ġieżu. Ta' Ġieżu is a local corruption of Ta' Ġesù (of Jesus).HistoryIn 1571 the Friars Minor were granted a piece of land in Valletta on which to build a church. Work began shortly afterwards, following the design of Girolamo Cassar. The façade was replaced in 1680 by Mederico Blondel. Numerous grandmasters contributed lavishly towards the embellishment of the church which now hosts various works of art.DescriptionThe main attraction is undoubtedly the impressive Miraculous Crucifix (in Maltese: Il-Kurċifiss Mirakuluż), by the Sicilian friar Umile Pintorno around 1630. It immediately attracted the attention of the Maltese who still hold it in great devotion. Accompanying the crucifix is a painting of Our Lady of Sorrows by Stefano Erardi.The titular painting is the work of the Sicilian artist Antonio Catalano. It is dated 1600 and depicts the Visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth.The church also hosts the grave of Blessed Nazju Falzon (1813–1865), a diocesan cleric greatly venerated by the Maltese, who taught Catholic catechism to British sailors stationed in Malta.

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