Saint George Preca was born in Valletta, Malta on 12th February 1880. He was the 7th child in a family of 9. During his childhood his family moved to another town, Ħamrun, where he spent the rest of his life. Like any other child he went to primary and secondary school up to the age of 16. By that time he was feeling God’s call to become a priest. He entered the Seminary of Malta where he studied theology until he was ordained a priest on 22nd December 1906.
Around the time of his ordination he was also feeling another call. He felt that catechism courses in parishes were not adequately organised and that God was calling him to do something about it. He met a group of young people with whom he started meeting for Bible study sessions. Soon things developed and the new SDC society was established in 1907.
Working for and within SDC meant a lot of hard work for Fr Preca. Naturally he had his normal duties as an ordinary priest serving in St Cajetan’s parish in Hamrun, Malta. Regularly almost every day however he would go to different SDC centres throughout Malta to talk to the children, young people and members. Often he would also talk to the people out in the open air.
Hundreds of people regularly packed any place, street or square where he would go to give talks. Some of his favourite themes were ‘The aim of man’, ‘Right intention of our actions’ and ‘Forgiveness’. He also found time to talk to people who regularly wanted to seek his advice or talk to him about personal matters.
George was also an avid writer. He wrote over a hundred publications on many spiritual and theological issues which he would then have published and sold at cost prices or given out freely to people. Among his best known writings are ‘The Great book’ and "The Sanctuary of Christ’s Spirit’.
Fr Preca passed away on Thursday 26th July 1962 at the age of 82 years. Nine years later, in 1971 the official process towards canonisation started. Following a long process he was beatified by HH Pope John Paul II on 9th May 2001 in Malta. Fr George Preca was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 3rd June 2007.