Two feast enthusiasts talk about their passion and their commitment to the chapel of Santa Margerita

Two feast enthusiasts under the age of 15 – one from Mosta and the other from Sannat, Gozo – have something in common. Their devotion to St Margeret. This week they met in the chapel of Santa Margerita in Mosta to celebrate the feast of their saint.

During Lent we visited the chapel of Santa Margerita and found John Paul Buhagiar Smith hoping that the chapel he so loves would be decorated for the feast. His wish was granted. We were told that there were many who took it upon themselves to decorate the chapel he loves, and this week we spoke to him at the feast of the saint to whom this chapel in Mosta is dedicated which dates back to the sixteenth century.

“A lot of preparations go into the feast, setting up and so on, and today we’ll have the martyr’s vespers, an antiphon and then mass begins and the hymn is sung at the end.”

Although the Covid-19 pandemic meant that many enthusiasts were deprived of their devotion and of the festivities, for the Mosta community in the vicinity of the chapel of Santa Margerita, it was this hard period that brought them together and urged them to roll up their sleeves and work toward reopening the chapel for mass and celebrating the feast.

Part of John Paul’s dream to celebrate this feast was realised with the help of the benefactors who welcomed his appeal to decorate the chapel he so loves as well as the help of the Sannat Association in Gozo.

” Everyday, I spent half the day here preparing. Because you always have celebrations throughout the year. Although it doesn’t open every day you still have a lot of celebrations, because you have Christmas, Good Friday, the feast, ” he told us.

John Paul found the help of another boy from Sannat, Gabriel Borg, who is also a fan of the feast of Santa Margerita celebrated in Sannat. They both love to work for the feast, and they hope that this tradition, born of faith, should not be lost.

The chapel of St. Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr is next to the cemetery of St. Rocco where two hundred people who died of the plague were buried. The present chapel was built in 1771 after the first one collapsed.

A mass is celebrated in the chapel once a year on the 19th of July on the feast of Santa Margerita, but the Santa Margerita social committee, which was set up a few months ago, is striving to open the doors of the church more frequently for mass.