Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.
Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 8(1982)3(267-268)
Mallia, Rev. Filipp, L-Isqof li ħ abbu kulħ add, Malta (Lux Press) 1982, pp xi 303.
This is a biography of Mgr. Angelo Portelli, Titular Bishop of Selinonte, a Dominican prelate who was a credit to his family, his Order and his country.
Fr. Mallia, himself also a Dominican, presents us with a very readable account of Mgr. Portelli's life, literally from the cradle to the grave. We are given a pen-portrait of the Monsignor's early life, through to his novitiate, his academic life, his parish work and, more intensively, his sixteen years as a prelate including his years as an Auxiliary Bishop, Apostolic Administrator and Vicar-General.
The whole work is extensively annotated and is certainly not just a biography written by an enthusiastic admirer. Fr. Mallia's very good book about the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament of St Dominic's parish of Valletta quickly springs to mind and this biography certainly does not detract from the reputation the author gained from his first work. Two things in common to both books are the painstaking research and the clear and very readable style in which they are both written.
[p.268] Needless to say, the author's personal admiration for Mgr. Portelli is present throughout the book but one must also add that the prelate himself evoked admiration by the way he lived and tried to help others at all times including the 1919 riots. And I must say that his inherent goodness is ably brought out and presented to the reader. What are not just as clearly drawn out, perhaps, are the intricacies surrounding curia work and appointments though this may not be the author's fault Certainly. a book worth reading.
JOSEPH F, GRIMA