St Publius, one of the first Maltese to be converted to Christianity by St Paul during the latter’s short stay in Malta in 60 AD is Floriana’s and one of Malta’s patron saints. The first stone of St Publis Parish Churchwas laid on 2nd August 1733 in the presence of Grand Master Vilhena. The church went through several transformations and was enlarged as the population of Floriana grew. In 1776 it was given the status of Vice-parish and a crypt was added to the church soon after. The church was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Vincenzo Labini on 28th March 1792. The church was declared a parish by Bishop Caruana in 1844 and was successively enlarged more then once. The church is 164 feet long, 106 feet wide and the aisle is 27 feet long.
On the 28th April 1942, at 8.15am, St Publius Church was severely damaged during enemy bombardment. Sixteen people lost their lives. Works on the reconstruction started on the 28thApril 1944 under the supervision of architect Gustav Vincenti. The main painting showing the martyrdom of St Publius is a work by Favray and completed by his pupil Filippu Vincenzo Pace in 1773. The statue of St Publius is the work of sculptor Vincenso Dimech and completed in 1811.