Egidio Galea

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Egidio Galea

ChurchCatholic Church
Personal details
Born5 May 1918
Birgu, Malta
Died3 January 2005(2005-01-03) (aged 86)
Birgu, Malta
BuriedSt. Lawrence Cemetery, Birgu
Alma materPontifical Gregorian University (STD)

Egidio Galea OSA MBE (5 May 1918 – 3 January 2005) was a Maltese Augustinian Roman Catholic priest, missionary, and educator, and a significant figure in the Catholic resistance to Nazism in Italy during World War II. He was a close aide to the Irish priest Hugh O'Flaherty.


Early life and education[edit]

Galea was born on 5 May 1918 in Birgu, Malta.[1][2] He studied at the Dockyard School in Senglea and later attended the Boys' Secondary School in Valletta.[1] In 1933, Galea entered the Order of Saint Augustine, and after several years studying philosophy, he was sent to Rome in 1937 to study theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University,[1] where he earned his Doctor of Sacred Theology.[3]

World War II activities[edit]

It was during his time at the Pontifical Gregorian University that Galea met Hugh O'Flaherty, and Irish priest who worked in Rome as a Vatican diplomat.[1] O'Flaherty was working to rescue and hide or help escape thousands of Jews and Allied soldiers in Nazi-occupied Italy. O'Flaherty needed help in this endeavor, and Galea became one of his closest aides.[1][4][5] During the course of World War II, O'Flaherty and his aides were responsible for saving more than 6,500 Allied soldiers and Jews. After the liberation, Galea was made a member of the Order of the British Empire.[1]

Later life[edit]

In 1945, Galea returned to Malta, where he taught Scripture to Augustinian seminarians.[1] Between 1955 and 1961, he was sent to Tunisia, where he worked as a missionary and also taught Latin.[1] In 1961, he returned to Malta, and between 1967 and 1971, he served as the Augustinian provincial superior.[1] Between 1984 and 1990, he was a lecturer at the Augustinian Institute at the University of Malta.[1] Throughout the years, he authored several articles and books, mainly discussing Augustine of Hippo, his life, and the Augustinian Order.[1][3]

Galea died on 3 January 2005 at the age of 86.[1][2][3] He is buried at the Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery in Paola.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ltd, Allied Newspapers. "Mgr Hugh O'Flaherty and Fr Egidio Galea". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  2. ^ a b "Gaf - Gan - New General Catalog of Old Books & Authors". Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  3. ^ a b c "Search Malta - Maltese Surname Connection". 2013-02-07. Archived from the original on 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2017-04-11.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Briguglio, Michael (2016-11-14). "Sliema News: How A Sliema Woman Risked Everything To Save Lives During World War II". Sliema News. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  5. ^ Fleming, Brian (2013-12-13). The Vatican Pimpernel: The World War II Exploits of the Monsignor Who Saved Over 6,500 Lives. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781620877562.