Maria Majone, the youngest of six children, was born on 21 June 1869 at Graniti, Messina, in Italy. She was the daughter of Marta Falcone and Bruno Majone. At eleven years of age her father died.
As an adult Maria was actively engaged in the parish’s association of the Daughters of Mary. On 14th of October 1889, aged 20, she and her friend Carmel D’Amore arrived in Messina where Fr. Annibale was waiting for them. In 1887 he had started the Daughters of Divine Zeal in the Avignone district. Fr. Annibale showed the “shelter” to the newly arrived women and indicated the wretched conditions in which the community lived:
My daughters, I have nothing to offer you. All I have is poverty, wretchedness, and total need. See if you have the courage to stay here. I will ask the Lord to grant you his help.
Maria Majone reacted by saying:
If we have Jesus with us, that is sufficient. The rest will go well.
On 18 March 1892, Maria received the name of Sr. Nazarena and commited herself to live her consecration to God at the service of her fellow human beings. Side by side with Fr. Annibale, she absorbed with discerning faith and heavenly wisdom, the Rogate spirituality that links prayer and apostolate, Rogate and charity. She absorbed the tenderness for the orphans and the poor from Fr. Annibale himself and she became a mother to all those she met during her life.
Mother Nazarena was the first Mother General and co-foundress of the Daughters of Divine Zeal. She died in Rome on 25th of January 1939. Her mortal remains are in the Mother House in Messina Italy, near the Church of the Holy Spirit. The process of canonization of this “faithful handmaid of the Lord’s harvest” began on 8 January 1992.
A Vocation of all Vocations p. 27 | Image courtesy of Madre Maria Nazarena
Prayer for Vocations – Mother Maria Nazarena
we thank you for sharing with us
your Love and Fidelity
in the person of Mother Maria Nazarena,
your humble and obedient servant,
whom you called to be the rock foundation of the Daughters of Divine Zeal.
Help us to follow her example of fidelity
in living fully the Compassion of the Heart of Jesus.
Glorify her on earth and grant us through her intercession, the grace we ask…
May it bring you Father,
the Glory you share with your Son Jesus Christ
and with the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.