Annibale Maria di Francia
(born July 5, 1851 in Messina, Italy
, died June 1, 1927) is a saint venerated by the Roman Catholic Church
. His father Francis was a Knight
of the Marquises
of St. Catherine of Jonio
, Papal Vice-Consul and Honorary Captain of the Navy
. His mother, Anna Toscano
, belonged to the noble family of the Marquises of Montanaro
. He was, therefore, from noble lineage
His Childhood Years
The third of four children, he lost his father when he was only fifteen months old. The sad experience of being an orphan
would have profound on his life and will make him deeply empathetic towards orphans.
At the age of seven he enrolled in the College
of St. Nicholas
, run by the Cistercian Fathers
. He was a devout child. Here under the guidance of his spiritual director, he was introduced to a devout life and he developed such love for the Eucharist
that he was allowed to receive the Holy Host
daily, something exceptional in those days.
As a Young Student
He was only seventeen, when as he was at prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament solemnly exposed, he was given the "revelation of Rogate"
, that is, he deeply felt that vocations in the Church only come through prayer. Later on he found in the Gospel the very words of Jesus commanding such prayer: "Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather his harvest". (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2)
. These words became the main source of inspiration for his life and the charism which led his apostolate.
On July... Read More