Two modern missionary saints are ST. GEORGE PRECA (1880-1962), the first native saint of MALTA and founder of the Society of Christian Doctrine, a group of celibate laypeople devoted to prayer, studying church teaching and instructing the young.
As a young priest, St. George had a vision of the child Jesus that stimulated his efforts to promote sound doctrine and formation among Catholics. The author of numerous books and booklets, he was also a renowned preacher who drew crowds of faithful wherever he went.
In the 1950s he suggested use of five “mysteries of light” for praying the rosary, an innovation later adopted by Pope St. John Paul II for the universal church.
In his sermon, Pope Benedict praised him as a consummate evangelizer, above all through the example of his own life.
liturgical feast is celebrated May 9. St.
ST. CHARLES of ST. ANDREW HOUBEN (1821-1893), a native of the NETHERLANDS (unusual because this country does not have many saints), who, after joining the Passionist order, spent most of his life ministering in England and Ireland.
He was especially known for his healing touch, his ministry as a confessor and for insisting in his preaching that God’s love could not be understood unless people understood the passion and death of Jesus.
At the funeral of the much-loved priest, his superior was moved to observe, “The people have already declared him a saint.” His feast day is Jan. 5.
Both saints were canonized on the same day in 2012..