Micallef, Giordano (15.10.1848-14.4.1913)


Francesco Micallef was born in Cospicua. He joined the Dominican Order in 1868 and was given the name of Giordano. The following year he professed and started his studies at St Thomas Aquinas College, Rabat. He completed his theological studies at the Dominican priory of St Massimin in France where he was ordained priest in 1874. Micallef spent another year studying moral theology at Rabat, after which, in 1876 he left to work as a missionary among the Maltese community in Constantinople.

At that time many Maltese were migrating to the Middle East; many settled in Constantinople where the Italian Dominicans had a priory and a much-frequented parish church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. Micallef was to spend 37 years, almost the rest of his life, among the Maltese community in the capital of the Ottoman Empire, far from his native land, relatives, and fellow-Dominicans. His love for poor people really stood out in his characters he was therefore appointed by the British consul to help them and distribute money sent from Malta among them.

Micallef was nominated preacher general by the Dominican Order in recognition of his work among the Italian and Maltese communities. He died in Constantinople and his funerary service took place in the parish church of Saints Peter and Paul, in the presence of the Italian vice-consul, the representative of the British consulate, a delegation from the apostolic vicarate, and a great number of people from the communities to which he used to preach. Micallef was remembered by all as a humble, sincere, and saintly religious person.

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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