VIDEO: Boy devoted to St Helen who wishes to become a priest

12 days away from the feast of Birkirkara’s patron saint, feast enthusiasts are once again preparing to celebrate without any external festa activities.

St Helen (Santa Liena), like all other feasts, this year can only be celebrated with internal Church festivities and by those like Kyran Bonello who sets up a whole room in his home as a replica of the St Helen’s Basilica in Birkirkara.

All those involved in feasts are waiting for the pandemic to pass so that they can once again keep their annual appointment.

However, their hobby has not suffered nor has the devotion of altar boy Kyran Bonello towards the patron saint, Santa Liena.

He told us that his wish is to become a priest however he worries become religious devotion is decreasing.

“I wish to become a priest to help the poor and the people of Malta and Gozo. We need religion to continue, for example in Church you don’t see many people, on Sundays they are empty, just a few people; we need to get going.”

Every year, Kyran decorates his home according to the occasion, Christmas, Good Friday and in August, for Santa Liena to which he is so devoted.  Most of the decorations are made by hand by Kyran himself, and this year he is heartbroken because the pandemic has once again cancelled everything.

“My grandmother and I made this altar, we bought a cardboard box and shaped it in the form of an altar. We made some stairs, and angels made of pots, each angel requires three pots on top of each other. You miss the fact that as an altar boy, I cannot go to the Church but we have to try for next year and hopefully we can go to Church – it’s another year without our festa, what can you do?”

Kyran explains the love and devotion he has for Santa Liena and that he feels her presence.

“This saint prays a lot for us…we need to remember that we can find the cross everywhere, because Jesus died for us. For example when I am sewing and my thread breaks I say, “it could have been worse because I could have hurt my hand with the sewing machine’ and I say, “that must have been Santa Liena who showed mercy on me”.

The feast of Santa Liena, for the second year running, will be held with a difference – without a band or band marches, however with a lot of goodwill the residents have decorated their alleys as best as they could and the Church is also decorated for the feast of its patroon saint, for the internal festivities.