I have a great desire to know the life of the saints, especially wanting to know deeply about the life story of Mother Maria Nazarena Majone (also known as Madre Maria Nazarena Majone) because she was one of the first Daughters of Divine Zeal (FDZ) who was close to Father Annibale Maria Di Francia, the founder of our religious congregation. I feel that I do not have enough knowledge about her so I continue rereading her writings and the writings about her. In doing so, I rediscover her life and understand more about her each time.
A while back when I was in Italy, I was able to visit our elderly Sisters in the community of Villagio Annunziata and in Graniti, the birthplace of Mother Nazarena, where some of these Sisters recounted to me their experiences of Mother Nazarena. My spiritual pilgrimage to her place made my own experience complete and helped to deepen my little knowledge about her. What I am most impressed about her is that she was:
- a happy person
- generous in helping others
- kind in word and deeds
- always obedient to the Father Founder
- a good role model as a sister and a leader
- always found time for prayer
- the one who took care of, had much time for and greatly respected the poor and the orphans.
Above all, she had a profound love for Jesus.
Mother Nazarena was among the first Daughters of Divine Zeal, the First Mother General and among the first who, side by side with Father Annibale, founded community after community in various places around Italy. All her life as a Religious Sister, under the guidance of St Annibale, she confidently and bravely opened communities, orphanages, places of apostolates – especially those places in Italy that were most in need of the presence and services of the FDZ Sisters: Messina, Taormina, Giardini, Catania, Napoli, Puglia, Oria, Trani, San Pier Niceto, Bari, San Eufemia d’Aspromonte and Roma.
Because of Mother Nazarena’s total trust in God, she was led by the Spirit and gained her strength and courage in establishing many convents, one after the other. Our Institute was gifted by the overflowing Divine Providence which never failed to provide for the needs of the Institute. This made her faith, hope and love grow even stronger and kept her moving forward. She was a high spirited woman who never tired in all her works and prayer, and she led the Institute towards a brighter future. Her love, commitment and dedication kept her looking ahead for great accomplishments when building spiritual and material projects.
On 18 March 1892 Maria Majone received the name Sr Nazarena and committed herself to living her consecration to God at the service of her fellow human beings. On this, her 125th Religious profession, we thank God for the gift of her life through which she untiringly helped others in need. We continue to commemorate her gift of life to our Institute, together with the Father Founder, as she is our inspiration to live the life of Rogate according to the charism of the Daughters of Divine Zeal.
Tomorrow (19 March) we celebrate the Feast of St Joseph who is one of the patron saints of our Institute. We ask for his intercession and pray for the many Sisters who are celebrating their anniversaries of their own Religious profession. We thank God for their hard work, sacrifices and fidelity to their vocation. We offer our best wishes to all of the Sisters and a Happy Feast Day to everyone. Like Mary, we continue to ask St Joseph to protect our vocation. We pray that we may learn to live his interior virtues.
Prayer for obtaining graces
through the intercession of
O God, our Father,
who in every time and in every place
enlightens the Church
with the witnessing of the Saints,
I give You thanks for the life and example
of Mother Nazarena Majone.
The Spirit of Your Son
has impressed in her heart,
the indelible seal of love
for You and for the neighbour
and has made her untiring
in the spread of the prayer for vocations.
I ask You to glorify on earth Your faithful servant and
to grant me the grace I ask You
through her intercession …………
Grant me the grace to live an authentically Christian life,
and to walk always along the path of holiness.
Through Christ, our Lord.