The Friary of St. Francis was established on the outskirts of ir-Rabat in 1492 by Fr. Jacob de Leo, Provincial Minister of the Sicilian Province. The friars initially dwelt in caves along the fringes of the compound.
In 1663 the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady was founded in the church to help in the organization of the feast and in 1698 a wooden statue of Our Lady representing the Immaculate Conception was first used in the festa procession. The feast is still celebrated every 8th December.
A wooden statue of St. Isidore which dates back to 1680 can still be seen here. It was originally covered in gold but this was painted over in order to avoid the attentions of the invading French at the end of the eighteenth century.
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