Stella Maris Church

The Stella Maris Church is a beautiful structure, its interior walls covered with white marble panels so bright and well placed, that visitors sometimes think the walls have been painted.

The dome, decorated by the Maltese Carmelite Luigi Poggi (1924-1928), depicts episodes from the Bible, the most distinct being the scene of Prophet Elijah ascending to Heaven in a chariot of fire. The statue of the Virgin Mary placed at the center of the main altar, standing on a pedestal carved from a cedar of Lebanon, is devoutly venerated by the local Christians.

Underneath the altar, one can find Elijah’s cave where according to the Old Testament, the Prophet lived for some time. Inside the cave, there is an altar carved in the rock, with a small statue of the Prophet.

On the pilaster strips of the Basilica there are four embossments dedicated to four Carmelite Saints: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Edith Stein and
St. Mariam Bouardy.

In the room at the right of the entryway, one can see a permanent Nativity Scene and a display of some artifacts of the ancient Byzantine Church that once stood on this site.
From the outside, one can enter a small souvenir shop where religious articles and scapulars can be purchased.

Just in front of the entrance to the Church there is a pyramid memorial to the French soldiers who died after Napoleon’s retreat (1799), which reads: «How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!» (2nd Sam. 1:25) remembering King David’s lamentation over the death of Saul and Jonathan.

On the opposite side of the road, in front of the building of the lighthouse, there is a pillar sustaining a statue of the Immaculate Conception. This monument was erected by the Chilean People, who wished to honor the Patroness of their nation.

The church is open to the public every day from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


 


 

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