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Friday, 27 June 2014

The Two Brothers of Malta-Ending

In the morning of August 9th, the second bombardment of Birgu began. The area was already almost destroyed by the cannons but the fort held out.  Birgu was almost invaded but a fluke of history caused the Turks to withdraw. Again, some strange power was at work stopping the advancement against Christianity. Birgu and Fort St. Michael did not succumb with the help of the charismatic Vallette, who had Frederico and his men by his side. The people proved to be some of the bravest on the island. 

The inhabitants fought well and stopped another attempt at the end of the month. Vallette sensed that the invaders were losing their will to win. However, the siege continued. The Turks had, at this point, before the beginning of September, lost over 9,000 men. 6,100 Maltese had fought against 48,000 men from the East and had not given in. The Turks attempted to take over the holy city of Mdina, but decide to withdraw in another surprise retreat. Mdina had little artillery, so the entire withdrawal of the attack seemed a spiritual mystery to the Maltese. Many of the Turks died of diseases adding to the number of dead, making the count 10,000. The siege moved slowly to an end.

On the vigil of the Feast of the Birthday of Our Lady, September 7th, the famous Don Garcia appeared with his men in St. Paul’s Bay, clearing the area with 8,000 reinforcements. In a rage which could not be controlled, the Spanish soldiers swept through the area, including Gozo, and freed Malta from the invaders. The Turks left Malta on September 11th, a day to be later remembered for another victory, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, celebrating, as Catholics do today, the victory at the Battle for Vienna, a battle fought over two days, the 11th and 12th in 1683.

Soon the people had food sent to them from Spain, Italy, and Sicily. Sadly, many thousands died, in the fighting or by starvation. There graves, unlike like those of the Knights, lie unmarked, under the rocky soil of Malta.

The Maltese understood to whom they owed this victory, creating lovely churches in honor of Our Lady. The glory of Valletta revealed the beauty and love of the Knights for their country, their Lady, and their God.

Immanuel finally went back to Gozo to resurrect his father’s estates, and succeeded in being accepted into the Order, after training as a Knight, on Christmas Day, 1601. He was remembered always for his kindness and meekness.  Vallette began to build the most advanced fortified city in the world, but died before seeing it completed. Frederico received permission from the Grand Master after the Siege to enter the monastery in Mdina, where he lived to be a very old monk, writing this memory of the Siege of Malta from the perspective of two brothers-the two brothers of Malta. When Frederico died, the monks opened the tomb of Tomas and Isabella to add Frederico’s body to the dust. There, they found one white flower, a small white rose, preserved, as if it had been placed there yesterday by a gentle hand.

There is another story here, but it will have to wait a bit....

The End.