Thursday, May 05, 2016

MALTA: Doorpost Plaque Blessings

This travelogue of Malta isn't necessarily having any rhyme or reason in how I'm telling it, but since today is Ascension Day and Sunday is Mother's Day, it fit perfectly to tackle the doorpost plaques I "collected" throughout our stay.

This gives you an idea of what I mean by doorpost plaques.
Many of them are placed under/behind the outside door light, right next to the doorpost.

Astrid calls Ascension Day "Jesus' Flying-Up Day" because she can never remember "ascension."  HA!  So let's start with the Jesus plaques:

 Who knew Jesus was a redhead!

And who knew that Jesus and a horseshoe made for a good blessing!

There were saints, too:  Rita, Teresa, Paul, Vittoria, Antnin, etc.

But by far, the majority of plaques were of Mary, baby Jesus and Joseph.
Malta is, after all, a Roman Catholic country.
In fact, the Constitution of Malta establishes Catholicism as the state religion.

Let's first start with Joseph and baby Jesus.
Have you seen anything so precious?

The more "religious" Joseph didn't nearly do as much for me,
but I was very glad he was given a place as the earthly father of Jesus.

I was also glad to see the family circle...variations on the theme.

Not to be sacrilegious but I've been singing "We are family" all week.

But as you'd expect, MARY is the one who is most seen throughout the country,
with or without baby Jesus.

Most of these plaques are from 4- 10 inches across, I'd guess.

And many have some form of her name in or next to the plaque.

"My Madonna always protects my house."

Sometimes you can tell how old and weathered the plaques are.
The salt-water air and winds from the Sahara wreak havoc on almost everything in Malta.

Do you have any favorites?

By far, my favorites were these loving, precious poses of mother and child.
Perfect for Mother's Day!

Of all the plaques, this was the simplest and most understated.
This is Mary at barely 2 inches across.  I wonder who used to live next to her?

The most overstated of all the doorposts I saw was this one in Marsaxlokk.
Don't you wonder what that story is!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In honor of this national holiday and a day off from work for Astrid...

we took a walk together in the glorious sun,

ended up at the ice cream parlor, where we totally indulged (once a year max),

after which Astrid made the "classic" Dutch white-asparagus supper,
with ham, sauce and egg...and baked potato.

Happy Ascension Day!  

And Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Just love every bit of this! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Robin, and you're so welcome, of course.

  2. I am in awe with how many door-plaques you captured. I know often we walked each on one side of the road to 'not miss' one... Amazing how many different plagues there are and that there is not even a special word for it (we asked the owner of the hotel, she used to be a teacher)
    The day off was great, good weather, a good walk, a real good ice-cream and a nice dinner... what else do we want.... nothing at all, we are so blessed... IHVJ.

    1. You're right about wondering if there's a special word for these plaques. You'd think there's be one. Hmmmm. They sure are everywhere!

      And YES. What else could we possibly want! I keep saying "I have everything I need; I want nothing!" It's so true.

  3. Great job! I love the mother and child ones best but there are so many great ones. You must have taken thousands of photos in Malta. Love this post!

    1. Thanks, Marie. The simple mother and child plaques are my favorites, too. So precious. And yes, it seemed like I took thousands of photos of these plaques alone. HA! :)

  4. Incredible collection and documentation! I'm guessing there is NO such collection/documentation anywhere else, and I think you should contact the Maltese tourist board to let them know it's here! :D

    1. Well, you may be right about the documentation of these plaques, Ruth. It takes someone like me, an American protestant, to really notice them. HA!

  5. A yummy once a year meal. I love your collections and this door plaque one is interesting and very religious....reminds me of my Catholic School days.

    1. Those of you who have grown up Catholic will always be a step ahead of me when it comes to these collections, Donna. I had no clue there could possibly be so many variations on a theme...not unlike the Dutch weathervanes I see everywhere here.

  6. Excellent! Is this a Malta specialty, or do you see these in other places? I’m not much on Mary and baby Jesus, but I do appreciate the family thoughts.

    1. I don't know if this is unique to Malta, Ted, but I have never seen the preponderance elsewhere in other Roman Catholic countries (like France, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Italy, etc.). It really stunned me enough to start "collecting" them. :)

    2. Interesting! Here in the US we have so lost the individuality that places once developed through being locally created culture that people are craving such distinctions. However, here in New England, once you get away from the coast and highways, small towns still each have their distinct character. The automobile and real-estate development have not been kind to the landscape. Europe seems to value the past in a way we never have.

      I sometimes frequent a page on Facebook called “Growing Up on the Upper West Side.” It’s Manhattan people in my old neighborhood lamenting the losses by recalling what was. I suddenly am seeing that all over.

    3. We do see "distinct character" in almost every town we visit here in Europe, Ted, so in that regard, you are right. Why would anyone want us all to be the same????