Collegiate Parish Church of St Paul's Shipwreck. © viewingmalta.com
This holiday is always celebrated on 10 February. In Malta, it is called 'San Pawl Nawfragu'.
St. Paul is the patron saint of Malta.
The is the first major feast day of the year and it commemorates when St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta in 60AD as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Bible.
Paul was being transported to Rome as a prisoner on a ship that had sailed from Adramyttium in modern day Turkey. On the journey, the ship had been damaged by storms and was driven aground in Malta.
Paul was made welcome by the islanders. When making a fire, Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and the locals were astonished that he suffered no ill-effects.
Paul then healed the father of an island official, after which many islanders would come to Paul to receive healing.
Still under guard as a Roman prisoner, Paul stayed on Malta for three months, leaving for Rome on a ship that had sheltered in Malta over the winter.
Paul is the patron saint of Malta.... and snakebite victims.
The day is a time for family gatherings and observed by religious ceremonies and processions, particularly at the the Church of St. Paul Shipwrecked in Valletta.