Devotion to saints help us in growing up Catholic. We have many saints beside us, near us when we sleep, inside our bags, in our closets, pictures of them hung in our houses, statues of them near Jesus and Mama Mary. We chant songs and pray litanies of praise. We promise to recite novenas, in the hope for answered prayers. Actually, one is as good as the other – only that it’s like having different parts of the body and different taste buds.
Let me tell you about Saint Hannibal. Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia.
Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia is the apostle of prayer for priestly and religious vocations. He is the apostle of charity for neglected orphans and the poor. Aside from his much love of GOD, he became a saint healing the Filipina child Charisse. It was a miracle recognized by the Vatican.
I could say I was one of those who was touched by the charism of Saint Hannibal. My affections and reverence are for vocations. My awareness of GOD speaking to me is through the church. And perhaps GOD, through Saint Hannibal got me because of my deep longing for an earthly father. St. Hannibals presence flows through priests who nurtured all that I want in the absence of my father (who died an untimely death). The closeness I had with my Daddy was almost my life and when he left for heaven – it was only through the Fathers that I found such tender love of a father again. I haven’t grown up with that. No one grows old asking for a father. Everyone needs a father. Every child and adult need a fortress, like a big tree, for leaning on. Such defensive structure is a representation of GODs power and might. Yes, against bad creatures. Remember St. Michael defeating the devil? Remember St. Joseph taking care of his family?
Many are hungry for the Lord. Shepherds are needed for the scattered flock. Laborers are needed for the harvest. Saint Hannibal realized this plight and the work to be done to let mankind discover the presence of GOD on earth. Our GOD is the GOD for all. This is a great task for the priests. Time for the superman priests, wonderwoman sisters, and power ranger brothers! Aside from home and school teachings, the need for spirituality and church instructions will hold strong the good deeds and faith of a child.
In barrios/ towns, far far from the City – we have chapels, my grandparents have one, but there are no priests – lack of them; there are no masses. Where is Jesus for the people around? Most of them are poor and illiterate. This shows the yearnings of St. Hannibal, agonizing as the prayerful Jesus in the garden. Of course graces are abundant, but in times answers are impossible total surrender in GODs design come in prayer. Saint Hannibal’s state was pitiful though his intentions humonguosly brilliant, because he was scant of means —- here, his faith taught him the sacrifice and miracle of prayers. That prayers can move mountains, that prayers can turn stones into bread, that prayers can bring back the dead to life. ROGATE for a plentiful harvest!
Today May 16 is our dear Hannibal Mary Di Francia as Saint. A remembrance of his cononization. I confess the moments of knowing him fill me with a day to day intimacy with GODs will. My obedience is honed, and as I want to walk another route – it is never granted. Instead, I have new roads ahead of me, well lit, no worries, “Hakuna Matata.” I walk with a conviction in my heart waiting for a next miracle, the next scenes for a purpose which I could not understand. All I know now, is that GODs ways are perfect for everyone, us, GODs children. Today is a special day for me because I found GOD closest through Saint Hannibals intercession.
Thank you GOD. Send O Lord, Holy Apostles into His church!