According to a strong local tradition, during the persecution of Christians decreed by the Roman Emperor Trajanus Decius (249-251 AD), St. Agatha fled from Sicily and took refuge in Malta.
A natural cave built underneath Malta’s oldest parish church was altered into a crypt, typical of the underground Christian cemeteries of the time. The subterranean catacombs are very extensive and hold numerous galleries and graves of different types. The crypt and catacombs are part of a historical complex, and also comprises a church built above them as well as an adjacent museum. Some of the earliest and unique frescoes on the islands are found here.
It is said that St. Agatha only stayed in Malta for a few years until she returned to Sicily, only to be arrested immediately and condemned to torture and imprisonment.