St. Annibale’s vision of the Rogate was shared by Mother Maria Nazarena Majone, co-foundress of the Daughters of the Divine Zeal. The cause of her Beatification is under way.
Cofounder of the Daughters of the Divine Zeal
The Religious Order of the Daughters of the Divine Zeal (F.D.Z. – in Italian, Figlie del Divino Zelo) was founded in 1887 by St. Annibale M. Di Francia. At age 18, Mother M. Nazarena Majoine entered the newly-founded Congregation and lived its mission with remarkable humility in prayer and effective witnessing among the poor, the orphans, the outcasts, the needy… She was a Mother, Teacher, Friend and Servant of all. Her example of holiness and fidelity continues to inspire the Daughters of Divine Zeal all over the world.
The primary mission of the Daughters of Divine Zeal, as it is for the Rogationists, is to pray (Rogate) for vocations and to spread this spirit of prayer sealed with a fourth vow.
The Daughters of the Divine Zeal’s spirit of generosity and sacrifice has always distinguished the Sisters in their work of promoting the prayer for vocations in the Church as well as the practice of charity among the poor, most particularly the orphans and the abandoned of society.
The Daughters of the Divine Zeal are now present in many countries around the world. In the United States, the Sisters are involved in educational and pastoral ministry. They conduct spiritual retreats, prayer meetings for vocations, vocation discernment programs, and vocation awareness groups for youth and laity.
Saint Annibale Di Francia (1851 – 1927)
“Who will evangelize the poor”, thought Father Annibale, “if there are no evangelizers? Who will lead the people in God’s ways, if there are no pastors?”
Discovery of the Rogate
Delving into the inexhaustible richness of the Gospel he (St. Annibale) found a pearl of great price. It was the Rogate pearl. It means “…pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into his harvest.” (Mt 9:37-38; Lk 10:2). It seemed that these words of Jesus had always been part of him. The Lord had etched them in his heart and attuned it to his own Heart.
From then on this confident and unceasing prayer to God the Father, the Lord of the harvest, became his “obsession”, and the “secret of salvation” for so many men and women who would come to know the joy of the Gospel.
Foundation of Two Congregations
But who could Annibale share this discovery with? Where could he find women with a motherly instinct for abandoned children, women who would work for the Church? Where could he find women whose lives of prayer would obtain from God’s heart apostles to proclaim the Gospel? Captivated by Fr. Annibale’s untiring service in the infamous Avignone area of Messina, a number of young women, moved by love of God, resolved to serve the downcast and to tirelessly implore God for workers for the harvest. Hence the Daughters of Divine Zeal congregation was born with Madre Maria Nazarena Majone as co-founder.
The name “Daughters of Divine Zeal” (FDZ) expresses the ardent love (zeal) of Christ when “seeing the crowds he was filled with compassion, for they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36).
With this name Fr. Annibale encapsulated the ideal and the mission of each FDZ and of the whole Institute. Fr. Annibale also founded the Rogationist Fathers, entrusting both congregations with the mission to pray, to spread prayer for vocations and to be good workers themselves first of all.
The Daughters of Divine Zeal and Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus are sisters and brothers in the Rogate. They were born from the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and were cradled in the bosom of Avignone Quarters – in the midst of the poorest of the poor of Messina in Italy. Their two communities along with the Priestly Alliance for Vocations (PAV) and the Union of Prayer for Vocations (UPV), also founded by Saint Annibale, continue his mission in answer to Jesus’ Divine command today.
On March 19, 2012 the Daughters of Divine Zeal
Celebrated its 125th Anniversary of Foundation
125 years have passed, and today the Daughters of Divine Zeal are found in many parts of the world: Italy, Brazil, Spain, United States, Australia, Philippines, Korea, India, Rwanda, Albania, Bolivia, Mexico, Indonesia, Cameroon and Vietnam. We thank the Lord of the Harvest for His faithfulness that has sustained the Daughters of Divine Zeal’s journey for the past 125 years. We pray that the Lord will abundantly bestow upon the Daughters of Divine Zeal graces and blessings to continue their work.
Madre Maria Nazarena Majone (1869 – 1939), the Co-Foundress of the Daughters of Divine Zeal, was one of Saint Annibale Maria Di Francia’s faithful followers and collaborator.
Maria Majone, the youngest of six children, was born on June 21, 1869 at Graniti, Messina, the daughter of Marta Falcone and Bruno Majone. At eleven years of age her father died.
As an adult she was actively engaged in the parish’s Association of the Daughters of Mary. On October 14, 1889, aged twenty, she and her friend Carmela D’Amore arrived in Messina where Saint Annibale Maria Di Francia was waiting for them. In 1887 he had started the Institute of the Daughters of Divine Zeal in the Avignone district.
“If we have Jesus with us, that is sufficient. The rest will go well.”
Fr Annibale showed the “shelter” to the newly-arrived women and indicated the wretched conditions in which the community lived. “My daughters, I have nothing to offer you. All I have is poverty, wretchedness, and total need. See if you have the courage to stay here. I will ask the Lord to grant you his help.” Maria Majone reacted by saying: “If we have Jesus with us, that is sufficient. The rest will go well.”
On March 18, 1892 Maria received the name Sr Nazarena and committed herself to living her consecration to God at the service of her fellow human beings.
Side by side with Fr Annibale she absorbed with discerning faith and heavenly wisdom, the Rogate spirituality that links prayer and apostolate, Rogate and charity. She absorbed tenderness for the orphans and the poor from Fr Annibale himself and became a mother to all those she met during her life.
Mother Nazarena was the first Mother General and co-foundress of the FDZ. She died in Rome on January 25, 1939. Her mortal remains are in the Mother House in Messina near the Church of the Holy Spirit. The process of canonization of this “faithful handmaid of the Lord’s harvest” began on January 8, 1992.
Prayer for Vocations – Mother Maria Nazarena
we thank you for sharing with us your Love and Fidelity
in the person of Mother Maria Nazarena,
your humble and obedient servant,
whom you called to be the rock foundation
of the Daughters of Divine Zeal.
Help us to follow her example of fidelity
in living fully the Compassion of the Heart of Jesus.
Glorify her on earth and grant us through her intercession,
the grace we ask…
May it bring you Father,
the Glory you share with your Son Jesus Christ
and with the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.
Some relevant links:
Web page of the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Mother M. Nazarena Maione (Note: It’s in Italian)
Correspondence can be addressed to the Postulation for the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Mother M. Nazarena Maione at the following address:
Madre M.Nazarena Majone
Circovallazione Appia – 00179
A pdf file in Italian on Mother M. Nazarena Maione, Mother and Educator
A pdf file in Italian on Mother M. Nazarena Maione and Annibale Di Francia
Daughters of Divine Will in Italy (Italian)
Daughters of Divine Zeal in Australia (English)
Daughters of Divine Zeal in India (English)
Some italian websites on Maria Nazarena Majone