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Bishop Alpheran de Bussan consecrated the church and its altar on the 22nd May 1747.Mellieha was again given a parish status in 1841 and this church was enlarged still further.On this occasion, he ordered the restoration of the old painting of the Madonna.By 1608 the said Friars were no longer in charge of this shrine which was then described as a Nativity of Our Lady church.The primary purpose of a 'Cave church' is exactly what it is called.At a later date in the Byzantine and Siculo-Norman periods, Monks or better Hermit-monks, discovered caves where they could live, meditate and perform liturgy.
The main altar in 1753 was covered with artistic marble decoration.At some time the people of the surrounding area were invited to join in for worship.Walls were stuccoed and painted, protrusions trimmed down, ledges for sitting on were carved and also a lot of decorative carving in the limestone was done in some instances.Partly underground it does not show its function from the outside but inside one can find the typical structure of the time with three pointed arches. Brancatus, comes from a cult which flourished in medieval Sicily before Arab times. The cave was largely left in its natural state, a section to the left of the entrance screened off with a dry-stone wall, and used as a church.It appears to be one of the several churches mentioned in pastoral visits in the area of Il-Qattara, Wied Hazrun and Wied ir-rum, which include Filfla: Assumption - A cave chapel on this tiny uninhabited rock existed from 1343 for the convenience of fishermen. The cave, left its natural state, is reached through a gently sloping rock-cut ramp and a man-made doorwa. Its walls were stuccoed and painted with holy images in dark red frames. This Sanctuary in 1436 had already attained a parish church status.