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Gorg Preca is officially Malta's first Catholic Saint
Consistory approved Gorg Preca and announce Canonisation for 3 June 2007
maltastar.com team 23 February 2007
The Consistory meeting at the Vatican on Friday has proclaimed Dun Gorg Preca as the first Maltese Catholic Saint. He will be canonised in Rome on 3 June 2007.
 
The news confirming the canonisation of Blessed Gorg Preca was met with joy “in a profound spirit of prayer,” said Fr Leslie Gatt OSA who was present for the historic moment.
 
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI convened the Consistory to approve the canonisation of 5 blesseds, including Dun Gorg Preca.
 
The Pope arrived for the consistory at the Apostolic Palace at around 11am and introduced mid-day prayers. After the singing of Psalms and reading of the Scriptures, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the congregation for the causes of the saints, presented the blessed to be canonised.


Second Apostle for Malta
 
In Martin’s brief presentation of the now saint, Dun Gorg Preca, he referred to what the late Pope John Paul II said during the beatification of Fr Preca, when calling him as “a second apostle for Malta, after Saint Paul.”
 
The new saints were then approved by the College of Cardinals and the Pope confirmed the canonisation. Dun Gorg Preca is to be canonised in Rome on the 3 June together with another three new saints.


“The Consistory which was held in the hall on the 2nd floor of the Apostolic Palace was a great moment for us who had the opportunity to be amongst the few to be present. It was a celebration held in a profound spirit of prayer,” said Fr Gatt.

Fr Leslie Gatt told maltastar.com: "Along with the recent experience of the Ordination of the new Archbishop for Malta, the moment opens for us Maltese Christians another moment in which we can really feel the Grace of the Lord who is guiding His Church."

Present at the Consistory to witness the historic event were Archbishop Emeritus Mons Guzeppi Mercieca, Gozo Bishop Mons Mario Grech, the Postulator of the cause for Canonisation Mons Charles Scicluna and the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the MUSEUM Mons Lawrence Gatt as well as the Superior of the MUSEUM Victor Delicata. 

On 9 January the Vatican had confirmed that the healing of Maltese newborn was miracle with the intercession of Blessed Gorg Preca, thus paving the way for Dun Gorg to become a Saint.


Newborn with critical kidney difficulties
 
The miracle confirmed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Tuesday goes back to July 2001, two months after Pope John Paul II was in Malta for the beatification of Rev Preca.

A newborn developed critical liver difficulties and was rushed to St Luke’s Hospital. Eventually the infant’s condition worsened and was taken to King’s College Hospital in London. Here it was confirmed that the only hope of survival was a kidney transplant. But a few days before the planned surgery, the hospital found that the organ available would be rejected by the child’s body.
 
At this point, the child’s family prayed for the miraculous intercession of Rev Preca. They even placed a glove that was used during the priest’s exhumation, on the child. A few days later, the baby started to show signs of recovery, and on 24 July 2001, the doctors at the English hospital confirmed that the planned surgery was no longer required – the baby has recovered full health, and is now five years old. 

Gorg was a "courageous youth"

Born in Valletta on 12 February 1880, Gorg was the seventh child in a middle-class family of nine. His father, Vincent Preca, was first a merchant and then a sanitary inspector. His mother, Nathalie Ceravolo, was a teacher.

Gorg's boyhood was nothing spectacular, but he did not lack that adventuresomeness and courage which form the backbone of any leader. Feeling that he was called to be a priest, he moved from the Lyceum to the Seminary where as a young student he distinguished himself in his studies, especially in Latin.

Moreover, at a time when the laity had not yet been officially recognised as important in the mission of spreading the Gospel, Blessed George Preca entrusted his followers with the responsibility of teaching catechism.

His little group of men and women grew up to be the Society of Christian Doctrine (known locally as M.U.S.E.U.M.), and today it consists of about 110 Centres and 1100 members. They teach about 20,000 boys and girls in the Maltese islands, in Australia, Peru, the Sudan, United Kingdom, Kenya and Albania.
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