Saint George Preca (1880 - 1962)
Founder of The Society of Christian Doctrine
The impact Saint George Preca has made on Malta is astonishing. It is all the more amazing when we visualize the social background of the times when he emerged as a spiritual leader of the people. British Malta provided a religious climate that was far from congenial to originality and ingenuity.
Ignorance, both intellectual and spiritual, was widespread, with 75% of the population illiterate. The position of the Christian laity was an uncompromising adherence to all that the authorities decreed, without the intelligent discussions and dialogue characteristic of modern times. Toeing the line was the order of the day in those late years of the 19th century, soon to be reborn into a new era. Few dared to burst open the cage-bars that surrounded village life and customs - most preferred the easier way of doing as told. Among those who rose to lead and influence the lives, customs and principles of the Maltese people was a young and foresighted priest. "Dun Ġorġ", as he was amiably called, was in the hearts of all and his name resounded to this day. His influence on the common man's spiritual life was radical and permanent.