Cholera swept around Malta from 9th June to 9th October 1837, plundering the once Elderly Hospice in Floriana. The health authorities decided to evacuate all the hospitalized elderly into Fort Ricasoli in order to reduce the spread of this epidemic. Devastation occured, and a total of about 855 elderly were infected and succumbed to the illness. The dead were buried in a mass grave in a field next to the fort.
In the following years substantial devotion towards these souls, some of whom are said to have been buried alive, grew all over the island and in 1878 a monument with a cross was erected. Devotees began to visit this cemetery every first Monday of the month and during November a pilgrimage would be held starting from the Parish Church of Kalkara. The Church in its centre was built in the 1950’s and designed by Chev. Vincenzo Bonello.