The Famous Crypt Beneath The Convent Of The Franciscan Capuchin Friars In Floriana, Was Cut Between 1725 And 1730, Upon The Suggestion Of Friar Ġużepp Calleja OFM. Cap., From Cospicua.
The Crypt Soon Became Famous For The Mummified Corpses Of Capuchin Friars Which Used To Be Laid In An Upright Position In Specially Constructed Niches Across The Crypt. It Is Quite Certain That This Tradition Came From Palermo, Where To This Day, Thousands Throng To The Worldwide Famous Crypt The Capuchin Fathers Have At Piazza Cappuccini.
The Entire Site Was Badly Damaged During The Second World War. Both The Church And The Friary Were Almost Entirely Destroyed, While A Friar, Clement Cauchi OFM. Cap., And The Convent's Garçon, Giuseppe Borg Of Żabbar, Were Killed During The Air Raid Which Destroyed The Site In April 1942.
The Crypt Was Left Abandoned For Three Decades. It Was Thanks To The Initiative Of The Late Friar Francis Azzopardi OFM. Cap., That Is Was Restored And Re - Opened In October 1979.
Once Renowned For The Mummified Corpses Of Capuchin Friars, Which Stood In A Row Of Niches Along The Walls, Presently Only Two Are Left, Enclosed In Separate Glass Cases. The First Is That Of Brother Crispin Zammit Of Gozo, Who Died In Odour Of Sanctity In 1867, Aged 79; The Other Is That Of An Unknown Friar. The Other Corpses, Along With The Remains Of All Those Buried In The Crypt Have Been Since Moved To The Ossuary, With The Exception Of Two Other Friars Renowned For Their Sanctity, Fra Adriano da Castrogiovanni And Friar Wistin Of Bubaqra.
A Little Poem Still Visible On One The Walls Of The Crypt Reads :
"Capucine By Death Are Taken,
Brother Friars Dry And Bake'em,
Skeletons With Well-Steamed Crust,
A Warning Stand To Living Dust."
- Added: 14 Jul 2012
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2457462
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