Welcome to Safi, for me one of the most enchanting hamlet in Malta!
If someone asks me why Safi is so enchanting for me,
I would probably answer him to go there on a September afternoon when the sun is close to the Sunset and see those warm dark yellow rays touch the street, the houses and reflects its light on the yellow stones of the Parish Church…
You may have the same sensation that I had to be entered in a fairytale hamlet!
Safi, in the Southern Region of Malta, located close to the Malta International Airport, was born has an hamlet not far away in time. I mean, it was always a crossing point for the farmers who used to stop here for a rest and a chat.
However, it is only 700 years ago that the village has begun to take shape. We have an historical data for it, that we can consider like a first census for Safi.
It comes from the records of the Standing Army (id-Dejma) of the 1419, which testifies that the village residents were between eighty and ninety people.
What was their job? Well, they were almost shepherds (of sheep and goats) and farmers in the fields aroud Safi.
The inhabitants of Safi had to struggle a bit before been recognised as a proper village with its own Parish church.
That’s because it was surrounded by other mayor villages, including the closest Zurrieq, Imqabba and Ħal Kirkop and part of Bir Miftuħ.
Anyway, at the end they won!
Apparently, ‘In 1598, a delegation of twelve men from Ħal Safi paid a visit to Bishop Gargallo. In the name of all Ħal Safi residents, they filed a petition requesting that the village of two hundred and ten residents become a Parish. This time the Bishop accepted their request. So, in April 1598, a contract to this effect was drawn up in front of Notary Debono‘, (source: wikipedia).
Today Safi has reached more than 2000 inhabitants who are proud of their Parish Church dedicated to the Conversion of St Paul.
Together with the Parish Safi has got its own Band, L-Għaqda Mużikali San Pawl, and its Club, dedicated of course to St Paul’s. The mission of the two is to prepare a fantistic Feast in honor of their Patron St Paul that is held every year on the last Sunday of August since 1960 (before it was on January 25).
This traditional stone cross known in Maltese as Is-salib tad-dejma, in days gone used to be as the meeting point for the town crier heralding official edicts, as well as for the official militia (for more info click on the pictures below).
The visitor who comes to Safi may can have the possibility to visit St Mary’s Church. In the meantime you can have a look at it clicking on the pictures below 😉