Today, 01 June, we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Annibale Maria Di Francia (also known as St Hannibal). He is widely regarded as the “Father of the Orphans and the Poor,” and the “authentic anticipator and zealous teacher of the modern pastoral care for vocations”, as acknowledged by St. John Paul II.
St Annibale founded two congregations, the Daughters of Divine Zeal and the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus, entrusting them to pray for vocations and to be good workers themselves, first of all. Love of God and love for neighbour became the norm that ruled his Christian and priestly life, to the point of heroism. Animated by the Holy Spirit, he regarded as a most effective means for the salvation of humanity, the command pointed out by Jesus Himself with the words:
“The harvest is great but the workers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send workers in his harvest.” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2)
Convinced that in the prayer for vocations and to be good workers there is the answer to humanity’s salvation, St Annibale strived to make it a universal prayer. (A vocation for all Vocations p.26)
Today also marks the foundation anniversary of the Our Lady of Divine Zeal Province. On this day we pray for the sisters who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Religious Profession:
- Sr. Marilyn Myra P. Ninofranco FDZ
- Sr. Eustolia C. Capilitan FDZ
- Sr. Virginia A. Palmones FDZ
We also pray for the sisters and brothers who are making their first religious profession, renewing their vows and those who are celebrating their religious and priestly anniversaries.
Let us thank the Lord for the gift of vocations – all are called to be authentic witnesses of the Christ of the Rogate. Congratulations! Happy Feast Day and Happy Anniversary!
If you are in Melbourne, Australia, the Daughters in Divine Zeal in Richmond invite you to join us at a Eucharistic Celebration on Saturday 10 June 2017 – see INVITATION: St Annibale Feast Day Mass for further details.
Prayer to St Hannibal
O Saint Hannibal,
full of heavenly love,
during your life here on earth,
you lived faithfully according to the
interests of the Heart of Jesus.
You followed His Divine Command
to pray for holy vocations to His Church,
and dedicated your life
for the poor and the little ones.
Intercede for us that we may be blessed
with an abundance of priestly, religious,
and lay vocations in the Church.
Inflame our hearts with your love
that we may become holy and edifying
modern-day disciples of Christ.
I pray to you to obtain for me from God
the necessary grace, which I ardently desire…
(mention here your petitions)
Bless me, O Saint Hannibal, and my family
that we may all live together
in unity, peace, and love.
Grant, through your intercession,
the graces of which your devotees
are in great need.
May all be for God’s glory
and the greater good of our souls.
Image courtesy of difrancia.net