St. Hannibal’s Devotion to St. Anthony: A Saint of Abundant Charity!
Written by antonio nocellado   
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
 
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