St. Paul is the patron saint of Malta. This is the first main feast day of the year and is a National Public Holiday. It commemorates when St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta in 60AD as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Bible.
Paul was being transported to Rome as a prisoner on a ship that had sailed from Adramyttium in modern day Turkey. On the journey, the ship had been damaged by storms and was driven aground in Malta. Paul was made welcome by the islanders. It is told that when Paul made a fire, he was bitten by a poisonous snake and the locals were astonished that he suffered no ill-effects.
Paul then healed the father of an island official, after which many islanders would come to Paul to receive healing.
Paul remained under guard as a Roman prisoner, staying in Malta for three months, leaving for Rome on a ship that had sheltered in Malta during the winter.
This day is a time for family to get together and is observed by religious ceremonies and processions, mostly at the Church of St. Paul Shipwrecked in Valletta.