Feast Of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck

Observed annually in Malta on the 10th of February, the Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck is a major feast day that commemorates the date in 60 AD when Saint Paul was shipwrecked on Malta, as recorded in the Bible.

Although this holiday is observed all over Malta, there is always a significant celebration at the Parish Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck in the capital city of Valletta. Inside this church is the supposed wrist bone of Paul, as well as the column on which he was allegedly beheaded in the city of Rome in 64 or 67 AD.

The History of the Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck

While Paul was being transported to Rome as a prisoner, coming from Adramyttium, which is now called Turkey, the ship was hit by massive storms. As a result, the ship was severely damaged and was driven aground on Malta.

While he remained under Roman guard, he was welcomed by the islanders, and some miracles were associated with his stay. According to biblical accounts, he was bitten by a snake but suffered no ill effects from it and would end up healing the father of an island official, as well as a number of other islanders.

Paul was on the island for three months and would then return to Rome. He would remain under Roman house arrest for another two years while he awaited trial. It is believed that Paul was killed sometime between the Great Fire of Rome and the end of Roman Emperor Nero’s reign.

Observing the Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck

This holiday is observed with religious ceremonies and processions, especially in Valletta at the Church of St. Paul Shipwrecked. Paul is the patron saint of Malta, so the holiday is observed with much enthusiasm. St. Paul is also the patron saint of snakebite victims.

Where is it celebrated?
Malta (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 10 Saturday
Next year (2025)
February 10 Monday
Last year (2023)
February 10 Friday