Hannibal Mary Di Francia (1851-1927)

Hannibal Mary Di Francia was born in Messina, Italy, on July 5, 1851. His father Francis was a knight, the Marquises of St. Catherine of Jonio, Papal Vice-Consul and Honorary Captain of the Navy. His mother, Anna Toscano, also belonged to an...

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A Day Dedicated to the Father Founder PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 September 2012 05:38

September 3, 2012- The priests and brothers of the Rogationist Theologate dedicated the whole day for the community celebration of the Father Founder’s Day with the liturgical celebrations of lauds, the Holy Mass, and vespers in honor of St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia. In the evening, the third year theology students delivered a conference on their proposed topic: “Rogate: Gift from the Spirit to St. Hannibal, for the Church.”

Below is the transcribed text of their conference delivered to the community:


Father Founder’s Day

“Rogate: Gift from the Spirit to St. Hannibal, for the Church”

Presented by Bros. Rogie Quinga,Tommy Latina, Kristian Taok, Michael Leynes,RG Cagbabanua, Carlo Balaguer & Antonio Nocellado Jr. to the FDFCS Community

September 9, 2012 


Part I: The Spirit as Source of every Charism

Part II: Rogate as the Original Inspiration received by Fr. Hannibal

Part III: Rogate as a Work of the Church, for the Church, and by the Church  

Part IV: Rogate: Newness of the Gift of the Holy Spirit in the New Evangelization



Part I: The Spirit as the Source of every Charism (by Bro. Tommy)

What are the charisms?

"A charism is a special gift, a perceptible and freely bestowed manifestation of the Holy Spirit, a particular grace of God which is given for the benefit of the whole Body of the Church."

                                                                           According to:  Leon-Joseph Cardinal Suenens

It is said that the principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission is the Holy Spirit. Let us start our discussion then from the Constitution Lumen Gentium as we read: "The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple ( 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19). In them he prays on their behalf and bears witness to the fact that they are adopted sons ( Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15-16, 26). The Church, which the Spirit guides in the way of all truth (Jn 16:13) and which he unified in communion and in works of ministry, he both equips and directs with hierarchical and charismatic gifts and adorns with his fruits (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:4; Gal 5:22)" (LG 4).

After listening to the Lumen Gentium let us now listen to St. Paul in regards to this topic of discussion. "There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone" (1 Cor 12:4-6). In the words of St. Paul we read that the many forms of charisms or gifts and the variety of  ministries and works are placed together.  With this verse it suggests that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives the many forms of gifts which are manifested in the many different ministries, in the many different communities that we find now a days collaborating in the building up of the Body of Christ, and it is even safe to say, that even during the time of the early church. Each member of the Church is gifted with these charisms, which are very effective in meeting the needs within the Church and in empowering her missions.  The Spirit as the principal agent of mission, of evangelization, is the one who builds the Kingdom of God.

Part II: Rogate as the Original Inspiration received by Fr. Hannibal  (Bro. Rogie & Bro. Michael)

A. The Inspiration

The Founder’s concept of the Holy Spirit

“We pray to the adorable third person of the most holy Trinity, the holy and divine Paraclete, on whom any sanctification depends. We must pray to him fervently, especially in his novena and feast, asking for his seven gifts as well as for the achievement of the 12 fruits. When a person receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, she becomes holy and perfect.” 

The Holy Spirit in the Prayer of St. Hannibal

Upon praying in front on the Blessed Sacrament, St. Hannibal’s attention was captured by the Gospel passage of St. Matthew...

Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 06:09
St. Hannibal’s Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 August 2012 08:54


Whenever I see the Daughters of Divine Zeal with their religious brown habit, I am reminded of the Father Founder’s Devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The brown religious habit of the sisters is a sure sign that at some point of Father Founder’s life, he had a special attention to this Marian devotion and wanted his sons and daughters to share and embrace this devotion. I would like to make mention also that Fr. Hannibal joined the Third Order of the Carmelite and was given the religious name John of the Cross.

Here are some insights of the Carmelite Spirituality that are quite distinctive to St. Hannibal:

Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 06:08
The Rogationists’ Devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 June 2012 13:40

As sons of St. Hannibal, the Rogationists have placed close to their hearts this devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is not just because they get their name from the Sacred Heart but precisely the Sacred Heart is everything for them. 

When one speaks of the heart, he is referring to the whole reality of the person. So for the Rogationists, the Sacred Heart is the entirety of Jesus whom they love and adore. Everything for them and all of them belongs to Jesus. Simple as it is.

Following their traditions, the why does the Rogationists who are implorers of holy vocations continue to place prime importance to this feast of the Sacred Heart?  Why do they need to pay much attention in preparing and celebrating with great solemnity this Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? 

The primary aim of this devotion for the Rogationists is to dispose their hearts to be able to from the heart of Jesus the spiritual understanding for knowing and bring into its completion their Rogationist vocation. This Rogationist calling is expressed in the compassion of the heart of Jesus when he commanded his disciples to pray more laborers to gather in his harvest. There is the call to penetrate the wounded pierced side of Christ in order to feel, espouse, suffer, share, and live according to the interest of the Compassionate Heart especially by obeying the Evangelical Command of the Lord.  Thus, the devotion to the Sacred Heart speaks eloquently regarding the understanding and zeal for the Rogate in the interior and active lives of the Rogationists.

These understanding and zeal for the Rogate as conveyed in the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are expressed in the selected themes for the nine days of novena preparation.

The Rogationists are called to penetrate the Most Holy Heart of Jesus. They are to consider the Heart of Christ as the honey-comb by bringing people closer to Jesus. People nowadays are restless in search for meaning in their lives. They go for different manners and ways of approaching life. These are signs of man’s thirsts for the divine. And so the Rogationists are called to accompany them to search the true meaning of their lives through the devotion the Sacred Heart. This Heart of Christ is open for those would like to find God in humility.

The Rogationists are to live within that Divine Heart. They are called to be a community committed in living the Evangelical Command of the Lord. But they can only do this when they come together with one mind and heart in the Eucharist to invoke the Lord to make them true witness of reality of the Kingdom. It is a call to be a community that is radiating the compassionate divine Heart of Jesus.

The Rogationists are called to perceive the love of Jesus’ Heart. There is the perennial call for every Rogationists to discern the will of God for them as they strive to be holy workers in the vineyard of the Lord. In their discernment, they need know who are the favourites of God and strive to help them. In the beatitudes, the poor are revealed to be the favourites of God. Not because they are just materially poor but because it is clear to them that they can only depend on God for blessings. It is a clear indication for the Rogationist to perceive the poor as the loves of Jesus’ Heart. Here, they can understand better the stance of the Church for the preferential option of the poor. 

The Rogationists are called to espouse the interest of Jesus’ Heart. They are to embrace the interest of the Heart of Christ, that is, the salvation of all the souls. They can understand better the words of the St. Hannibal when he says, “I will not spare myself in anything for the Rogate.” For the Rogationist, the Rogate is the secret of all good works because it will be the answer for the lack of good workers for the salvation of all men and ultimately the glorification of God.

The Rogationists are called to share in the pains of the Heart of Jesus. This is not just about what happened to Jesus on Calvary unto his death on the cross. This means to share in the whole sufferings of Christ especially during the instance in his public ministry when he saw the crowd like sheep with a shepherd. With this, the Heart of Christ uttered the words of the Rogationist prayer. The pains of the Heart of Jesus are the souls who are continually being lost and are being snatch by the evil. Another is the ingratitude of man towards the goodness and mercy of God. 

The Rogationists are called to share in the sacrifice of Jesus’ Heart. One can understand here that the life of every Rogationist must be an oblation or a sweet smelling offering to the Father to beseech him to send holy workers for his great harvest. The Rogationist cannot do what Jesus did once and for all on they cross. They can only participate and share in Christ sacrifice by their witnessing of their consecrated life in the world as a continuous oblation to the Father.

The Rogationists are called to console that Divine Heart of Jesus. Consolation the Heart of Christ is an act of reparation of all the infirmities and calumnies committed against the mercy of God. Most of the time, man is unfaithful to the covenant of God with Him. But is God who searches the sinners to bring them back to Him. God is the one who is hurt but he is the one who forgives and search out for the lost. God is so merciful to the sinners and so to console the Heart of God is bring to him the sinners to repent from their sins and amend their lives.   

The Rogationists are called to love Jesus’ Heart by gaining souls for Him. In string to be good workers in the vineyard of the Lord, the Rogationists are task not just to seek their own sanctification but to be shepherds and fishers of men for the Lord. They are called to work for the promotion of human life especially of the little ones and the poor in the society. With their works and apostolate, they are to bring the people entrusted to them closer to God. 

The Rogationists are called to love Jesus’ Heart by obeying the Divine Rogate. By their profession of the vows, they receive the indelible seal of the Evangelical Command and imprinted it in their hearts. This should be their banner wherever they go and whatever they do.  This is the reason for their existence, to be implorers and become holy workers themselves to bring about the realization of the kingdom of God. For them, to obey the Divine Command means to live and offer ones’ life for the love of God and neighbour.   

Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 13:53
St. Hannibal’s Devotion to St. Anthony: A Saint of Abundant Charity! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 June 2012 10:33

       Considered by many as “Saint of Miracles”, St. Anthony of Padua has a special place in the life of St. Hannibal who proclaimed him as the celestial benefactor and protector of the Rogationists and Daughters of Divine Zeal. This great saint enjoyed the honor of being one of the principal patrons of the two congregations. In fact, many of the charitable houses opened by St. Hannibal and were entrusted to the Rogationists and FDZs was named after this great saint. That was the reason why in the early years of the Institutes, the religious priests, brothers and sisters of St. Hannibal were commonly known as the Anthonians. 

       How did Father Hannibal start and develop this devotion to St. Anthony? What were his motivations in asking favours and intercessions from this great saint of miracles?

       Let us ask the help of Fr. Vitale, a long-time companion of St. Hannibal, who wrote the well acclaimed biography of the Founder. This is a re-echo of the chapter 21 of the book:

       ‘Even before the founding of the Rogationists, while everything was just initiatives of St. Hannibal to shelter and help the poor children with the help of a group of women who dedicated their lives for the orphans. A great cholera epidemic threatened the works of St. Hannibal with the poor. But this seemingly bad circumstance became an opportunity for the grace of God to work lavishly through the help of St. Anthony. People sent prayer petitions to St. Anthony in exchange that if their families will be spared from the epidemic, they will provide for the daily bread of the orphans. Some other people sent alms and donations from the blessings granted through the intercession of St. Anthony and even graces yet to come still. From the simple abundance through the help of the Saint of Miracles, St. Hannibal thought of charitable project called “Blessed of St. Anthony in favor of the Anthonian Orphans”.

       Later on, St. Hannibal exhorted the Rogationists and FDZs to acclaim St. Anthony of Padua as their celestial benefactor and protector.
We try to deepen our knowledge and appreciation of St. Hannibal…   

      The Founder has a devout and thankful heart to St. Anthony of Padua. This is manifested in how St. Hannibal named all the charitable works of the Rogationist and FDZs under the name and protection of St. Anthony. If St. Hannibal would have heavenly and temporal offices for the benefactors, he will surely ask St. Anthony to head the offices and be the chairman who will coordinate all the spiritual and temporal graces for the Institutes.

      St. Hannibal believes that in the humble prayers of the children and the childlike, St. Anthony would always appeal earnestly to God to grant them all. St. Hannibal and his children surely would not just pray for their daily sustenance and their simple abundance each day. St. Hannibal, as his heart fixated for the Rogate, for sure asked humbly St. Anthony of Padua to help him to pray for more holy workers for the great harvest. Certainly, St. Hannibal pleaded to St. Anthony to re-echo his prayers and the prayers of his children to the Lord to send holy priests and religious for the greater glory of God and salvation of the soul. Our saintly Founder shares with the Saint of Miracles the secret of all good works….the Rogate!  

      The Founder invoked St. Anthony to recover his lost things. There were published attestations of St. Hannibal on how St. Anthony helped him to find his lost things. But more than that, for sure the Founder prayed and exhorted all his children, Rogationists and FDZs to pray to St. Anthony to plead before God and help them recover the original innocence and state of grace that they received in of baptism. What an amazing grace to recover once more!       

     Looking at how St. Hannibal observed this devotion to the Saint of Miracles, we see more people are drawn closer God. For St. Hannibal, St. Anthony of Padua is not just any other saint. He is the great Perennial Conqueror of Souls to God!

Last Updated on Friday, 08 June 2012 10:51
“Mary, Queen and Mother of Evangelical Rogation” PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 February 2012 06:27



The Origin of the Title

    This title of Mary as the “Queen and Mother of Evangelical Rogation” is a private title revered and proposed by Saint Hannibal Maria Di Francia to his sons, The Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus, and to his daughters, the Daughters of Divine Zeal. Its origin is therefore from the inspiration of St. Hannibal Maria Di Francia, and the first to practice the devotion to Mary in this title are the members of the Institute of founded by Saint Hannibal. Under this title, Mary is venerated as the Virgin who kept and lived the “divine command of the Rogate” known also the “Evangelical Rogation”.  

The Evangelical Rogation or the Charism of the Rogate

The Divine Command of the Rogate or the Evangelical Rogations is found explicitly  in Matthew 9:38 and in Luke 10:2 when the Lord Jesus seeing the crowd, felt compassion for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd said: “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray (Rogate) therefore to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.” For St. Hannibal, the Evangelical Rogation is concretely realized in the mission of: praying daily for vocations, propagating the spirit of prayer everywhere and promoting vocations, and being good laborers for the coming of the Kingdom of God.   Thus, the very first way of fulfilling the command is that of obeying the command of Jesus to pray and become adorers and implorers for the highest and most beautiful mission, of meriting and preparing vocations for the kingdom of Christ. The second is to propagate the spirit of this prayer and give witness to the light of the divine command in the Church and in the world. Third, is to act and become the very answer to this prayer. Thus, the Evangelical Rogation demands from those who obey it, a qualified spirit of prayer, zeal, and generosity in their undertakings, to which they commit themselves without counting the cost; ready to sacrifice themselves completely for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Mary as “Queen and Mother of Evangelical Rogation”

This title of being the Queen and Mother of Evangelical Rogation is for Saint Hannibal a title proper and true of Mary. In his own words, St. Hannibal explained, “In her Immaculate Heart, I see, engraved with golden characters, all the words uttered by our Lord Jesus Christ. I consider how true is the saying of the evangelist St. Luke, Mary, on her side was persevering all these things and meditating them in her heart (Lk 2;19,51). Thus it is impossible for us not to find imprinted in her heart, with heavenly characters, the words coming from the divine zeal of the Heart of Jesus: Pray therefore to the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into His Harvest. Indeed Mary Most Holy accepted this divine command in her Immaculate Heart and accomplished it.”  Mary is the Mother of each vocation, she who is the first “called” and the first “redeemed”, is also the first “collaborator” of the Redeemer. She is always “in intimate communion with Christ”, she, the Virgin Mother, “was the creature who most of all the others has lived the full truth of vocation because none like her has answered with such great love to God’s immense love.”  Mary is thus the model of the obedience to the divine command, since through her prayer, she obtained the Redeemer and cooperated with him for the salvation of souls, becoming universal mother and queen.  

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