Sunday after service in St John's Cathedral, we were taken by a rare and special invitation to view the famous painting in one of the side chapels of the Cathedral.
The Monsignor unlocked it with a huge key and the door swung open slowly to reveal a very large marble room covered in paintings, tapestries and christian crosses and an altar. This large anteroom was very cold but breathtakingly stunning. And this is the painting that is there! It is huge! It fills the entire wall top to bottom and is astounding to see in person.
It is only opened on special occasions and no longer open to the general public. It was painted in 1608 by.......
You may not know this, but he was not a believer when he painted this. In fact his disrespect for Christianity shows in that he signed his name down below John's head in his blood. His mockery shows in the faces of the two imprisoned watching from behind the bars of the prison.
Later he became a believer, but what was done was done. This enormous painting now hangs here in Valletta Malta permanently. It spans the entire front end of the chapel and literally takes ones breath away when you see it. The size, the life likeness, and the subject matter brought tears to my eyes.
We were so privileged to be taken to see this!
Here's what the Cathedral looks like inside..... the choir sounded like they were angels! The service was in Latin, but I still loved the experience and had a wonderful time of private prayer and reflection.