L-istorja tgħidilna li meta ġew il-Kavallieri ta’ San Ġwann, billi kienu ordni ta’ Ospitalieri, xerrdu ħafna d-devozzjoni lejn San Ġiljan l-Ospitalier. Fl-1539 bnew mill-ġdid il-Knisja tal-Isla dedikata lil dan il-qaddis. M’hemm ebda dokumenti ċari meta nbniet eżatt il- kappella l-antika magħrufa bħala Ta’ Lapsi, iżda hemm indikazzjonijiet li juru li fl-1580 inbniet l-ewwel kappella fost ir-raba’ minn xi kavallieri ta’ San Gwann li ġew hawn ghall-Kaċċa. Fl-1593 il-knisja ż-żghira twaqqgħet u nbniet oħra minn flokha. Fl-1682 telgħet it-tliet waħda. Ix-xogħol tlesta fl-1683. Il-bennej kien Mikiel Gaffan, waqt li l-periti kienu Vincenzo Casanova u Giovanni Barbara.
Fl-1693 kien sar terremot kbir f’Malta u Sqallija li kien waqqa’ ħafna bini. Dan kien inħass fil-knisja u fl-1716 l-isqof kien wissa lil-Guzeppi Ciantar biex jieħu ħsieb li din terġa’ tinbena. Fl-1730 l-Isqof Paolo Alferan De Bussan għamel il-vista pastorali u kien sab li l-bini kien mibni mill-ġdid.
Fl-1847 fir-raħal ta’ San Ġiljan kien hemm madwar 50 familja u 1000 ruħ kienu jiġu villeġġjatura fis-sajf. Kienet saret talba biex issir viċi parroċċa, u din it-talba ntlaqghet fl-1849. Bħala vici kappillan kien sar Dun Ġużepp Xerri, u meta fit-8 ta’ Settembru 1891 saret parroċċa, hu kien dikjarat bħala l-ewwel kappillan.
Peress li San Giljan kien kiber ħafna ġie deċiż li tinbena knisja gdida u tpoġġiet l-ewwel ġebla fid-9 ta’ Lulju 1961 fi żmien il-Kappillan Dun Guido Calleja fuq pjanta tal-perit Arturo Zammit. Kien Ħadd il-Palm tal-1968 li l-knisja fetħet il-bibien għall-pubbliku, ghalkemm kien jonqos xi xogħol li jsir. Kienet ikkonsagrata fis-17 ta’ Diċembru 1978. Il-Papa San Ġwanni Pawlu II fiż-żjara tiegħu f’Malta fl-1990, iltaqa’ mal-intelletwali Maltin f’din il-knisja.
L-istatwa titulari hija xogħol ta’ Karlu Darmanin li tlestiet fit-13 ta’ Awissu 1893.
When researching Maltese history, one immediately notices the impact that the Knight Hospitallers of St. John had on the Maltese people. The Knights were devoted to Julian the Hospitaller – a Roman Catholic saint, and they quickly passed this devotion on to the Maltese. In 1539 the Knights rebuilt the Church dedicated to St. Julian which is found in Isla. There is no documentation available to show exactly when the old Parish Church known as Lapsi Church was built, however there are indications that show that in the year 1580 a small chapel was built in the fields belonging to some of the Knights of St. John who would often come to this area in order to hunt. In 1593 this chapel was demolished, and a new one was built instead. However, it seems that the new chapel was not what they wanted, as it too was demolished in 1682 and a third chapel was completed by 1683. The chapel was built by Mikiel Gaffan, and the architects were Vincenzo Casanova and Giovanni Barbara.
In 1693 a huge earthquake which affected Malta and Sicily destroyed many buildings. One of the buildings affected by the earthquake was the chapel dedicated to St. Julian, although it was in 1716 that the Bishop gave Ġużeppi Ciantar the job of rebuilding the chapel. In 1730, when Bishop Paolo Alferan De Bussan visited the area during a pastoral visit he found that the building had been completed.
According to statistics, in 1847 there were 50 families residing in the village of St. Julians, while a further 1000 people would live here during the hot summer months. It was around this time that the Bishop was asked to consider making the village a vice parish, and he accepted this request in 1849. The first vice Parish Priest was Dun Ġużepp Xerri, who was also the first Parish Priest of St. Julians when it was made a Parish in 1891.
As time went by the Parish of St. Julians multiplied. The old Church was becoming too small and so on the 9th July 1961 the foundation stone for a new Parish Church was laid. The Parish Priest was Fr. Guido Calleja, and the architect was Arturo Zammit. Although the work wasn’t quite complete, the new Church was first used on Palm Sunday in 1968. The Church was consegrated on the 17th December 1978. On his first visit to Malta, Pope John Paul II met with the Maltese intellectuals in this Church.
The statue of St. Julians, which was inaugurated on the 13th August 1893, is the work of Karlu Darmanin.