Qrendi – History

Situated in the southeast of Malta, the village of Qrendi is populated by 2,527 people (December 2008). The village was first historically mentioned in 1417, when it appeared in a militia list and was described as having 26 ‘households’. In 3800 BC, in the Qrendi area had we already find structures such as the megalithic temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim.

The village includes seven churches and chapels, such as the main Parish Church and St. Matthew’s Chruch. Most of these churches were constructed on the site of earlier churches or chapels.

The Parish of Qrendi was first established in 1618, by the Bishop of Malta, Baldassare Cagliares. Before this, the people of Qrendi had to attend mass in the parish of Zurrieq. In 1620, Fra John Mary Camilleri decided to build a new parish church and this was completed 35 years later in 1655. The church was built on the highest point in the village. In 1677, Fra Domenic Formessa decided to pull down the current church to build a bigger one which was completed in 1712. Since its completion, distinguished local artists and craftsman have contributed in many ways to adorn the beautiful shrine. These artists include Giuseppe Cali, who painted the portrait depicting the Assumption of Our Lady and Emmanuel Buhagiar who created the 14 Stations of the Cross and the church’s lectern.

The village also has a church dedicated to St. Matthew. The larger of the secondary churches, it was completed in 1682, but on April 12th 1942, it sustained considerable structural damage to its facade after a direct hit by cluster bombs from enemy aircraft. It was decided that the facade would be replaced to ensure no danger to the residents.

Two feasts are celebrated in Qrendi. The first celebrates Our Lady of Lourdes and is celebrated on either the last Sunday of June or the first Sunday of July. Annually on August 15th, the village celebrates the feast of the Accession of Our Lady.