The church of the Annunciation in Żebbuġ probably existed at the time of the first Universal Peace Walk in 1543 AD because it is mentioned (albeit as being in a bad state of repair) during the visit of Bishop Pietro Dusina in 1575.
During the visit of Bishop Dusina there were no less than 36 churches dedicated to the Annunciation in Malta. The Annunciation (25th March), together with the Assumption (15th August) and the Infant Mary (8th September) were the three most popular Marian devotions on the island.
It is interesting to note that of the fifteen or so churches in Żebbuġ today, 10 carry a Marian devotion. During his visit, Bishop Dusina identified 20 other churches Żebbuġ, some of which were closed because they had fallen into disrepair.
The Church Today
The church underwent various changes and embellishments and is mentioned in subsequent visits of bishops to Malta between 1588 and 1696. In 1696 a new church was built.
The current church is octagonal in shape but with a straight façade, a square window and a papal coat of arms (Pope Innocent XII) above the main door. This replaced the coat of arms of its 17th century benefactors Fr. Julian and Fr. Martin Żammit.
From the Church of the Annunciation we continue walking down Triq il-Kbira, past the church of Our Lady of Sorrows to the main piazza and the parish church of St. Philip of Agira.