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Statues and Niches

In Ix-Xagħra, there is a considerable number of tiny shrines that embellish the facades of houses and street corners. Three are worthy of mention.
 
One of the earliest is Our Lady of Angels (il-Madonna ta' l-Anġli) on the way from Ix-Xagħra to Marsalforn Bay. It is so called as the Virgin Mary is surrounded by angels and after the nickname of Ġanni Mercieca, a farmer who lived in the vicinity. On 7 July 1733, this farmer was surprised by a number of corsairs in il-Wied tar-Ramla and taken captive to Barbary with his wife and six children. As they were being dragged away from the island, they vowed to the Blessed Virgin that if they ever returned alive, they would raise her a shrine in the vicinity. They were ransomed and soon fulfilled their vow.
 
Another old niche is that of Our Lady of Mercy (il-Madonna tal-Ħniena) at Għajn Lukin. In stands on the site where the people prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Graces in the Capuchin's convent situated below. It was raised sometime after 1814 in thanksgiving to God and the Blessed Virgin for the deliverance of ix-Xagħra from the plague that left 104 people dead.
 
One of the most prominent is the shrine of Our Lady of Hope (il-Madonna ta' l-Isperanza) in the middle of Ir-Ramla. The shrine was raised in 1881 in fulfillment of a vow by Ganni Gauci. For years he worked as a sentinel in the guard-post of ir-Ramla. It was in vain that he sought work elsewhere. He decided to turn to heavenly help that somehow moved the Colonial authorities to heed his request. And he fulfilled his vow.