The Archive Conservation Laboratory of the Archdiocese of Malta presented the Cathedral Museum in Mdina with a meticulously restored letter attributed to St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Dating back to the years 1548-1549, the letter is tied to the establishment of the Jesuits’ college and university in Messina.

The Jesuits in Malta received this invaluable letter, along with other documents that seek to document the transmission of this letter, from their counterparts in the Sicilian province, reverently placing them within a sealed reliquary at the very heart of the church of their Collegium Melitense in Valletta. The reliquary was first opened in 1995 by the esteemed historian Mgr Vincent Borg. In his capacity as the President of the Capitular Commission of the Cathedral Museum, he secured the necessary permissions from ecclesiastical authorities to bring the reliquary to the museum in Mdina for exhibition and research purposes.

Over the past months, diligent and meticulous efforts at the Diocesan Archive Conservation Laboratory have been devoted to the restoration of these precious documents, ensuring their preservation for generations to come.

Beyond its profound spiritual significance as a relic associated with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and cherished as such for nearly four centuries, the letter vividly illustrates the notion that a solid academic formation is a necessary tool for evangelisation.