Fr. Marius Zerafa

Fr. Marius J.Zerafa O.P, S.Th.L, & Lic.Dr.Se.Soc., B.A. Hons. (Lond.), A.R.Hist.S (Lond.) born Malta 1929. At 16 joined Dominican Order. Studied at Oxford, Rome, London, Paris and Florence. Joined Malta Museums Dept in 1970 and became Director in 1981. Resigned at age 61, but still lecturing at University and other cultural centres. At present Professor of Sacred Art at Angelicum University, Rome.

His book, “The Stolen Caravaggio” tells the TRUE story of how this painting was stolen in the late ’80s and he helped recover it.

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Paperback 5.5×8.8 pages 220

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St. Jerome’ was painted by a killer on the run, stolen for ransom and then saved by a priest”  – Prof. John T. Spike

In 1984, the St. Jerome, an autograph painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, was stolen from the magnificent Co-Cathedral of St John’s. All efforts to trace this great work of art proved fruitless and, despite the involvement of Interpol and the police, the trail went cold for the following two years. Until, one evening, Fr. Zerafa, then Director of the Museum, was contacted by the thieves with the message: “We have the painting. We want money. Don’t contact the police…or else…”

It requires great skill on the writer’s part, to read a thriller knowing beforehand its end and yet move from page to page with expectation and suspense.  This is what Fr. Marius Zerafa has succeeded in doing. It must be the freshness of the diary, the soul searching, the subtle approach to the personalities involved and above all, his sense of love for what is beautiful, through a cultivated patriotism, all linked up by a golden thread to what is eternal.   Fr. Zerafa has made me relieve the tension and the relief of the St. Jerome saga.   May I add that this book is a living statement to those, who, like Fr. Zerafa, without rhetoric have done so much for our country’s heritage.” – Prof. Guido de Marco