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Madonna of the Rosary

Entering inside the church from the main door, on the left side lies the chapel dedicated to the Madonna of the Rosary. The chapel belongs to the Confraternity of the same name since 1650 and conserves a retable from late 1500s depicting the Mysteries of the Rosary.

A restoration project by the Landmark Office discovered that the wooden altar was modified in 1772-1781 and 1862, with work on the structure and on the artworks. The cleaning of the podium, completed during the recent restoration, discovered an artwork hidden under a faux marble decorative paint. The artwork, dated 1772, depicts the brothers and sisters of the Confraternity and the Battle of Lepanto of 1571, included in the Mysteries of the Rosary probably for the importance of the event for the Christianity. During the war between the Christians and the Turks, the devotion toward the Holy Rosary became more popular due to the work of the Dominican Friars.

The retable is divided in three parts. The lower part has three niches with the statues of Saint Basil, Saint Sebastian and the Madonna depicted in the act of giving a Rosary to Saint Dominic. The central niche, expanded in 1862, was decorated until that year with a statue of a Madonna and Child which is now kept in the nearby Church of Saint Julian. In between the niches there are paintings depicting four of the five mysteries of the Rosary. The middle part of the retable is decorated with the Crucifixion of Jesus and at the sides, separated by carved columns, four clypeus depicting the glorious mysteries of the Rosary. The top part of the retable shows the Coronation of the Virgin. The retable is missing the representation of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. It’s possible that these were originally part of the retable but then lost over the years.

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