Saint George Preca, Priest
Valletta, Malta, February 12, 1880 – July 26, 1962
First Maltese Saint
He was born in Malta on February 12, 1880. As a child, according to the custom of the time, he was incorporated into the Carmelite Family through the imposition of the scapular. He was ordained a priest on December 22, 1906. In the early months of 1907 a small group of young people in their twenties gathered around him. Began as the Society of Christian Doctrine, known commonly Museum, initial letters of “Magister, utinam sequatur evangelium universus mundus” ( “Master, that the whole world follow the Gospel ‘), a work dedicated to education and religious education of children and of young people. Preca, as an adult, became a Carmelite Tertiary: July 21, 1918 then enrolled and professed his vows on September 26 the following year. When he professed, he chose the name of Franco. In 1952, as recognition of his tireless devotion to the disclosure of the Madonna del Carmine, he was affiliated with the Carmelite Order. He died July 26, 1962. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 9, 2001 in Malta and finally canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on June 3, 2007 in Rome.
Roman Martyrology: In La Valletta in Malta, Blessed George Preca, a priest who, lovingly dedicated to the care of children of catechetical instruction, founded the Society of Christian Doctrine to give testimony of the providence of God’s word in the middle to the people.
He was a cheerful and lively child, almost one misbehaving, to the point of risking a time to drown too dangerous a game yet, on the life of this exuberant child, there was a particular influence by the scapular of the Caramelites, which according to tradition, was imposed when he just a few years old. Thus, almost without realizing it, he was found in the seminary and about to become a priest, but a serious illness after the freezes of the diaconate and the doctors thought he was doomed. He was saved against all predictions and was ordained a priest 26 years, taking as a program of life reflection of his spiritual director, “God has chosen to teach his people”, while his sole concern, from that day onwards, was to help and encourage others to “move the heart.”
He dove in and educated of children and his exceptional ability to bring young people to the church was recognized, to the point of being identified as the “Saint Philip Blacks in Malta.” A few months after ordination, a group of young workers gathered around him, the core of what would later become the Society of Christian Doctrine: his dream was to turn them into evangelists and make them able, through proper training, to educate others in the faith. E ‘a quantomai felt in Malta, where religious practice is reduced to taking part in festive Mass and some devotional practices, but was also considered by many an idea too bold, because he was keen to see that the Bible and theology was delivered into the hands of the laity, for the most simple laborers, and even intolerable that they are entrusted with the proclamation of the Word of God 60 years of anticipating the Apostolicam actuositatem of Vatican II, that challenge the mentality pretino time and, as the Church takes a close watch his work, he is anxious to train the members of his community, which calls for the obligation of celibacy and which requires at least one hour of training per day.
The Church took 25 years to approve the new group and this time he, in absolute loyalty to the hierarchy, continued to educate, educate, train. First of all himself, letting himself be shaped by the Carmelite spirituality, drawing freely from the spiritual writings of great saints, from St. Vincent de Paul at St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, but at the same time retaining the post of news that is his specific charism: to evangelize through the laity. “I do it with bread flour that I take the bag of other,” he used to say, “but in the end we all have to draw from a single lot: the Gospel.” New centers of Christian doctrine were opened in every parish, while the mission lead him to new foundations in Australia, Sudan, Kenya and Albania, in a flowering of vocations that continues today. He died on July 26, 1962 at age 82, and on May 9, 2001, in Malta, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him “blessed” Don Giorgio Preca, a priest whose only desire was “that the whole world follow the Gospel.” Benedict XVI, after a few years, finally canonized on June 3, 2007 the first Maltese saint.
Author: Gianpiero Pettit
Source: Santi e Beati