A Maltese religious NGO has expressed its disappointment after St Publius was not mentioned in the pastoral letter about Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Malta.
To drive their point home, members of the Assoċjazzjoni Publju ta’ Malta pinned Biblical verses to the Curia’s building in Floriana overnight and released a statement.
“A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and in his own home – Matthew 13:57” and other verses were posted on the door and wall.
St Publius was the first Bishop of Malta, and the first Maltese saint ever.
The move, reminiscent of Martin Luther’s famous protest against the Catholic Church back in 1517, comes as the association tries to get St Publius the recognition they say he deserves.
“With reference to the placards, we would like to inform you that the Association is showing its disappointment towards the authorities with respect because we genuinely believe that Publius is a figure of inspiration for our time, even in a pluralistic society,” they said in a post.
“Publius captures the Maltese identity with the great qualities of love and generosity. Our thought goes far beyond parochial fanaticism or any extra fixation.”
“Paul and Publius are two inseparable figures that, through their work, we have moved closer to God,” they ended.
Their protest comes after Pope Francis’ first trip to Malta and Gozo was announced to the fanfare of many within the Maltese Catholic community. The Pope has already expressed his interest in meeting migrants that arrived on Malta’s shores.