Through the initative of Father Martin Borg, prior of St Teresa’s Church Cospicua, two new ceiling paintings has just been mounted in the Church, complementing two other ceiling paintings that have been mounted just a few months ago.
These paintings portray two polish Discalced Carmelite fathers – Saint Raphael Kalinowski and Blessed Alphonse Mazurek. Both were very close to the heart of Pope John Paul II.
They were painted by the emerging Gozitan artist Manuel Farrugia. Dubbed as Malta’s next Giuseppe Cali, Manuel Farrugia has been commissioned several works for different Churches both here and in Gozo.
One of the paintings portrays Saint Raphael of St. Joseph Kalinowski O.C.D. (1835-1907). Saint Raphael was a Polish Discalced Carmelite friar from the city of Vilnius . He was a teacher, engineer, prisoner of war, royal tutor, and priest, who founded many Carmelite monasteries around Poland after their suppression by the Russians. Kalinowski was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1991, the first man to be so recognized in the Order of Carmelites since Saint John of the Cross.
The other painting shows Blessed Alfons Maria Mazurek (1891–1944), another Polish Carmelite friar, prior and priest. The Gestapo shot him. He is one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II, a group of Polish Christians murdered for their faith by the Nazis during World War II between October 1939 thru April 1945. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 26 March 1999
The Church of Saint Teresa in the limits of Cospicua is an architectural gem. It is the first ever Church worldwide dedicated to Saint Teresa after her beatification. For more than 400 years, the Discalced Carmelite Fathers have been officiating in this Church.