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Our Founder

st. hannibal maria di franciaSt. Hannibal Maria Di Francia  is the Founder of Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus. He was born on July 5, 1851 in Messina, Sicily, Italy. His father, Francis, was a marquis while his mother, Anna, was a noblewoman. At the age of 17, Hannibal became aware of the lack of good workers in the Church. While praying before the Blessed Sacrament, it dawned on him that the answer was prayer. He confirmed it when he came across the words of Jesus, ”The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, to the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers into His harvest.” (Mt. 9:37-38) The divine command “to pray” or “rogate” became the principal source of inspiration throughout his life. Fr. Hannibal was ordained a Priest on March 16, 1878. In 1887, he founded the Daughters of Divine Zeal and ten years later the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus. He died on June 1, 1927. He was declared Venerable on December 21, 1989, beatified on October 7, 1990, and was canonized on May 16, 2004.  With his canonization, the people of God now invoke St. Hannibal Maria Di Francia as the Apostle of the Prayer for Vocations and as the Father of the Orphans and the Poor.

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