In Valletta on 12 February 1880, a seventh childwas born to Vincent Preca, a merchant, and Natalina nee' Ceravolo. They namedhim George. Were it not for a few episodes which Blessed George himself hasrelated, we would not have known anything about his childhood. Among otherthings we know that, on 16July 1885 George almost lost his life: he fell intothe sea at the Grand Harbour, but a boatman,Michael by name, sped towards him inhis boat and saved him from drowning. Ashort time later, George fell ill of typhoid.

Towards the end of 1885 or the beginning of 1886 or thebeginning of 1886, the Preca family went to live at Birkirkara, where Albert,the youngest son in the family, was born. At ten, he became an altar boy andjoined the choir of St. Cajetan Parish Church. In July 1892, he sat for theadmission examination to the Lyceum, for which there were 225 candidates;George was not among the 31 successful ones. He made it, however, in thefollowing September when, out of 131 candidates, he was among the 51 who wereaccepted. He went to school daily on foot from Hamrun to Valletta and back. As a pupil, he impressedhis teachers by his bent for languages and his fine handwriting. Though joyful,he was very meek and retired, and he never developed any close friendship withhis companions.


The road to Priesthood

Dun Gorg was glad to see widespreadexpansion of the Society of Christian Doctrine in both Malta and Gozo and, since 1952, its birth in Australia.
In the same year 1952, Archbishop Michael Gonzirequested Pope Pius XII to nominate Dun Gorg as Monsignor or, as known at thetime, a Papal Secret Chamberlain. Dun Gorg did not feel glad about thisnomination. He never donned a Monsignor’s vestments and never bothered toconfirm his nomination. And so, in accordance with Roman dispositions,regarding those who fail to follow precedural instructions, Dun Gorg ceased tobe a Monsignor in 1958 with the death of Pope Pius XII. He again became asimple priest; after all , this was his wish.

Dun Gorg kept onworking till the very end. But the weight of his sickenss and that of hisrelatives was pressing down on him. His private correspondence shows howtiresome it was for him, towards the year 1956, to keep on visiting hishopitalized brother Albert, who had had his leg amputated. In his last years,he also suffered severe headaches; but almost nobody was aware of it. Dun Gorgstill went on calling the members together every Wednesday. From the very startof the Society, a free day was granted to children at the centres everyWednesday; this was not done by way of rest from teaching, but only to enablethe members to meet the Founder or someone else delegated by him andconsolidate their formation and fraternal unity. At first Dun Gorg used toassemble his members at the Hamrun M.U.S.E.U.M. known as Il-Kbir (The MainOne), then at St. Joseph’s Church (St. Vennera), St. Catherene’s church (Valletta), and Sarria Church(Florina). Dun Gorg never addressed his members at the Auditorium of theCentral House at Blata l-Bajda, since it’s construction was not yet complete.

The words of Dun Gorg were the witness of one who wasreally convinced of what he was saying. Till the very end of his life, he kepton visiting the towns and villages of Malta. The news that Dun Gorg wouldbe coming, used to spread from mouth to mouth. As he entered a church or aM.U.S.E.U.M. centre, many women used to take sweets or bottles of water forblessing. Countless individuals used to seek his advice. On some occassions, hegave the impression that his counsels were not of his own making. It was nolonger possible for him to satisfy everybody. At times, it happened that someindividuals grumbled because Dun Gorg did not welcome them or talk to them asmuch as they expected. Many were enchanted by his words and deeds; a few deniedhe had told them anything special.

In 1961, after a whole lifetime at Hamrun, Dun Gorg hadto leave for Santa Venera, due to much trouble about his Hamrun residence, aninscription still reminds us where he lived for so many years.

The last days

In July 1962, DunGorg felt seriously ill, and his life on earth seemed to be very near its end.He used to go out with difficulty. On 23 July , his breath started to fail him,and he needed bottled oxygen. Conscious to the end, he breathed his last on 26July at 7.45 pm. Those present say the expression of his face betrayed greatdejection; something seemed to be causing him continuous trouble. Assisting himwere the Carmelite Father Kilian Azzopardi (Parish Priest of Santa Venera ) andFr. Matthew Chircop (Parish Priest of Hamrun) . Dun Gorg’s funeral, onSaturday, 28 July, was a veritable testimony of the great love the Maltese hadfor him. Not only the members of the Society of Christian Doctrine, but thewhole Maltatestified that in Dun Gorg they had found a great benefactor.

Santification of Fr.George Preca

On the 9th of May 2001, Pope John Paul II visited Malta for thesecond time and beatified Fr. George Preca, Swor Maria Adeodata Pisani andNazju Falzon. On the 14th of February 2007, Pope Benedict XVI approved a decreeby which a miracle which was attributed to Dun Gorg Preca has been approved bythe Congregation for the Causes of Saints. This led to his canonisation that washeld on the 3rd of June, 2007 in Rome.