- Annibale Maria di Francia
- Hannibal di Francia
Third of four children of Francis the Marquises of Saint Catherine of Jonio, a Papal Vice-Consul, a knight, and Honorary Captain of the Navy; his mother was Anna Toscano, an Italian aristocrat. His father died when Hannibal was fifteen months old. The boy developed a devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. At age 17, while in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, he received a call to religious life. Ordained 16 March 1878. Immediately after he moved into the Avignone ghetto, one the most impoverished areas he could find, and began a life’s work with the poor. In 1882 he founded the Anthonian Orphanages, so-called because they were under the patronage of Saint Anthony of Padua; they were noted for their operation as an extended family. In order to expand this work to a much larger sphere of physically and spiritually poor he founded The Daughters of Divine Zeal in 1887, and The Rogationists in 1897; they were canonically approved on 6 August 1926. He believed in the need for a strong priesthood; he started the Holy Alliance and Pious Union of the Evangelical Rogation, worldwide movements of prayer for vocations, and published the periodical God and Neighbor with information about these movements and their work. He worked to be a model for the seminarians who came to work in his schools, and cared for the physical and spiritual needs of his brothers and sisters in the religious life. He was considered a saint during his life, and received a vision of the Virgin Mary just before his death. The groups he founded continue to day, working all over the world in prayer, publishing, orphanages, schools, training for the deaf and mute, care for the aged, home for single mothers, and schools of all types.
What are these few orphans we attend to, these few people we bring the good news to, compared to the millions who are lost and abandoned as sheep without a shepherd? I looked for an answer and I found a complete one in the words of Jesus: ‘Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to gather his harvest’. I concluded then that I had found the secret key to all good works and to the salvation of all souls”. - Saint Hannibal
From my early youth I have committed myself to that Holy Word of the Gospel: ‘Rogate ergo…’ From my small Institutes an unceasing daily prayer is raised by the orphans, the poor, the priests and the consecrated virgins, to the most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, to Saint Joseph and the Apostles, that they may abundantly provide the Church with holy and chosen priests and with evangelical workers for the spiritual harvest of souls. - Saint Hannibal, writing to the Vatican about his proposed congregations
The entire Church must formally pray for [vocations] because the purpose of the prayer to gain vocations must concern all the faithful, every Christian who has at heart the good of souls and, in a particular way, the Bishops who are the shepherds of the spiritual flock and to whom souls are entrusted. They are the living Apostles of Jesus Christ today. - Saint Hannibal
- “Saint Hannibal Mary di Francia“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 May 2009. Web. 21 April 2015. <>