The girl who lived on Communion wafers and holy water

Francesca Tereża Parlar was born in Valletta on November 24, 1842 and was baptized in the Dominican Parish of Our Lady of Porto Salvo and St. Dominic in Valletta. At the age of eight she felt a strong desire to receive her first communion and after seeing this, her wish came to pass. From then on, she ate and drank only the Eucharist and holy water.

Her father owned a business and had three ships but they sank causing them to leave Malta for Constantinople where her father opened a textile shop which went bust. But before returning to Malta, Francesca Tereża Parlar met a Maltese Dominican missionary, Father Anton Calafato who was her confessor. When they returned to Malta, they went to live with the Ebejer family in Triq il-Ponta, Senglea.

The parish priest of the Dominican Church of the Annunciation in Vittoriosa, Father Aaron Zahra, said that at the age of forty, Francesca Tereża Parlar became a Dominican Tertiary among various mystical experiences and visions.

“She is said to have slept on the floor, completely cut off from social life. In fact, she was often tempted to enter a convent as a nun but always insisted that she want to live a life of prayer and sacrifice alone. When Bishop Pietru Pace became pastor of the diocese, he immediately showed interest in the life of Francesca Tereża Parlar and a Commission was set up to investigate the phenomenon that began to occur in her life because she allegedly had wounds in her hands which she hid with bandages and said that her hands hurt. ”

This Commission decided to send Francesca Tereża Parlar Ta’Saura to Rabat because some people thought she had mental illness. After six months she was sent to Mgieret where she ended up with lepers. She endured these sufferings with great patience and love. There was no evidence against her and she eventually returned to her home in Triq il-Ponta l-Isla. Father Aaron Zahra told us that two of her prophecies came true.

“She predicted the day of her confessor’s death, which in fact materialised, and she predicted that the house where she lived would fall and not be rebuilt and in fact it is still like that, to this day.”

Francesca Tereża Parlar died on February 12, 1927 and was reputedly very holy. She was buried in a grave by herself in the Chapel of the Sorrow of the Dominican Friars in the Addolorata cemetery. A few days ago, on February 13, on the 139th anniversary since becoming a Dominican Tertiary and in the Jubilee year for the Dominican Order, the remains of Francesca Tereża Parlar were buried in the Dominican Church of the Annunciation in Birgu.