St Augustine Church
The St Augustine Church is one of the first churches to be built during the creation of the new city of Valletta in the 16th century. The foundation stone was laid in 1571, according to plans by architect to the Knights of St John, Girolamo Cassar.
It was rebuilt in 1765 according to new plans by architect Antonio Cachia, and building works by Giuseppe Bonici, and was eventually elevated to parish church in 1968 by means of a pastoral letter delivered by the Archbishop.
A number of original artefacts from the first church can still be found inside the church today. One of these includes an important painting which dates back to the sixteenth century by the famous Mattia Preti, depicting the Augustinian Nicholas of Tolentino, which can be found in the chapel of the same saint.
Another important work of art is a painting of the Augustinian John of Sahagun which can be found in the first chapel to the left. This painting originates from the school of Preti, with some of its figures also found depicted on the ceiling of the St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. An unsigned and undated small painting of Our Lady of Grace, originating from the first church, hangs beneath it.
The church is renowned for the statue of St Rita, with her feast being celebrated in the month of May. The feast is celebrated by means of a procession with her statue around the streets of Valletta.