|Saint George Preca (1880-1962)|
Moreover, at a time when the laity had not yet been officially recognised as important in the mission of spreading the Gospel, right after his ordination, St. 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.) The acronym for M.U.S.E.U.M. is Magister Utinam Sequatur Evangelium Universus Mundus! which in translation means: "Teacher, O that the whole world would follow the Gospel!" Today the society 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. St George died on July 26, 1962, age 82. He was beatified on May 9, 2001 by Pope John Paul II in an open-air ceremony in Malta.
St George was canonized on June 3, 2007 in the St Peter’s square at the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI. An interesting anecdote about St George is the fact that back in 1955, he had suggested to his members to start praying another Mystery of the Rosary, the Mysteries of Light, and he devised the exact 5 Gospel scenes that were introduced by Pope St John Paul in 2002. Ever since his canonization, much more devotion spread around Malta, and a parish was dedicated to him, and various statues were crafted, in paper-mache and in bronze.