St. Annibale’s Statue at the Vatican

St Annibale

On July 7, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI blessed a marble statue of St. Annibale Maria di Francia (1851-1927), founder of the Congregation of the Rogationist Fathers of the Heart of Jesus and of the Daughters of Divine Generosity. The statue is positioned in an external niche of the Vatican Basilica near the Arch of the Bells.

Click here for link to more info and St. Annibale

7-July-2010 — News Agency
Pontiff Blesses Statue of Pray-for-Vocations Saint
VATICAN CITY, ( – An 18-foot marble statue of a saint dedicated to praying for vocations was blessed today by Benedict XVI.
The image of St. Annibale Maria di Francia (1851-1927) was unveiled in one of the exterior niches of St. Peter’s Basilica. He is the founder of the Rogationist Fathers, the Daughters of Divine Zeal, and the Anthonian Orphanages.
Before blessing the statue, the Pope recited a prayer that evoked the vocational apostolate, and care of orphans and the poor, essential features of the spirituality and activity of the Sicilian priest.
In particular, the Holy Father invoked the Lord so that he will send to his harvest “worthy laborers of the Gospel,” and so that the image of the saint, canonized in 2004, will inspire in those who contemplate it “his same spirit of charity to grow in love of God and neighbor.”
The statue shows the saint pointing to the Gospel verse that inspired his work: “Rogate ergo dominum messis, ut mittat operarios in messem suam” (so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest) (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2).

Arch of Bells

The stumps of the flanking bell-towers are identically designed. Each has a tall first story containing an enormous arched portal, and a smaller one the same height as the attic. The archway on the left side is known as the Arch of the Bells – look up and you will see why. It leads into the Vatican State -prior permission is needed to pass through it. The right hand archway is another portal to the papal palace, and is not accessible.
Click here for link about St. Peters

On July 7, 2010, before his general audience in the morning, Pope Benedict XVI Blessed a marble statue of St. Annibale Maria di Francia (1851-1927), founder of the Congregation of the Rogationist Fathers of the Heart of Jesus and of the Daughters of Divine Generosity. The statue is positioned in an external niche of the Vatican Basilica near the Arch of the Bells.
Click here for link on Luisa Piccarreta and St. Annibale di Francia


Plaza of Roman Protomartyrs (Protomartiri Romani)
at the Arc of the Bells (Arco delle Campane)

The statue, 5.30 meters high (17.5) and carved in a single block of marble from Carrara, is the work of the artist Giuseppe Ducrot.
It was placed in the first niche at the Arch of Bells among the Saintly Founders of Religious Institutes, as perennial memory and witness of the charism of the Rogate.
click here for link on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI Blessing St. Annibale’s Statue in Rome

Pope Blesses statue of St. Annibale di Francia
Click here for video

Holy Father Blessed Statue of St. Annibale Di Franca
installed in the Vatican on July 7th, 2010

Monument to Saint Annibale Maria Di Francia in the Vatican

Tuesday, 6 July 2010
A monument to the apostle of prayer for priestly vocations and apostle of the Kingdom of the Divine Will, has been placed in the center of Catholicism: the Saint Peter Basilica at the Vatican.  Next Wednesday, July 7, Holy Father Benedict XVI will bless the statue right before his usual Wednesday audience.
Past Thursday, June 24, 2010, in the morning hours, the enormous statue of Saint Annibale Di Francia was placed in its niche at Plaza of Roman Protomartyrs, at the Arch of the Bells of the Saint Peter Basilica at the Vatican.  The statue, carved in Carrara marble, weights nearly 10 tons and is 5.3 meters high.
Some of the Daughters of the Divine Zeal and some Fathers of the Rogationists, including the Postulator General were present during this event.  Monuments of the main holy founders of religious institutions surround the Plaza of Roman Protomartyrs.
The request to place a monument of St. Annibale outside the St. Peter Basilica was made to the Holy See for religious congregations founded by St. Father Di Francia, as a tribute to its founder in an effort to spread his holiness and charisma, especially after his canonization.
It will be the cause of great joy when on Wednesday July 7 the Holy Father will bless the statue of St. Annibale Di Francia.
The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, will bless the statue on Wednesday, July 7, 2010, before his general audience.
The monument is truly a great gift and a tribute of the Church to the charismatic figure of Saint Annibale, known throughout the world as a worthy apostle of prayer for vocations as well as great apostle of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
Six years after his canonization, his impressive image is located in the heart of Christianity.  Father Annibale has always nurtured and expressed feelings of deep love and obedience to the Vicar of Christ, which he has passed on to his spiritual children as a sign of unconditional loyalty.  He constantly pointed at the “Rogate”, as the infallible and vital remedy for the life of the Church.
Therefore, the marble statue at the Saint Peter Basilica also becomes a demonstration of his devotion to the Pope.
Master José Ducrot sculpted this work from a single block of Carrara marble.  The statue of Father Annibale is holding the book of the Gospels opened in the Rogate passage, “The harvest indeed is abundant, but the laborers are few.  Pray (Rogate) therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest).”  (Mt 9, 38: Lk 10, 2).

 Location Map of Statue

A day of special graces

Let us pray on this special occasion to San Annibale Maria Di Francia that he:

Who reviewed and gave Nulla Obstat to the Writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, inspires and guides those who now read her writings.

Who published and disseminated “The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” and all her other writings helps in this sacred task all those whom God inspires the timely publication of them.

Who overflowed with the divine light of the doctrine of the Divine Will intercedes for us so that we, by constantly dying to our will, can continually live in the Divine Will.

We entrust ourselves to St. Annibale Maria Di Francia to obtain for us the spiritual graces needed to know, understand and fully live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.

Let us pray also for the General Chapter of the Rogationist Fathers whose realization occurs on the same date.

All the information is from the publication of the Superior Generals for the religious communities of the Daughters of Divine Zeal and the Rogationist Fathers of the Heart of Jesus.  (May 4, 2010)

St Annibale with Luisas Cross and Statue of Mary and Jesus

Relationship between St. Annibale Di Francia and Luisa Piccarreta
(The Crucifix and Statue of Mary and Jesus shown in the photo above are Luisa’s)

The relationship between Saint Annibale Di Francia and the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta is well known.  Besides being her extraordinary confessor in 1926, Father Annibale was commissioned directly by the Archbishop Mgr Giuseppe M. Leo through regular order, as the Ecclesiastical Censor for the publications of the three dioceses Trani, Barletta and Bisceglie; particularly, the review of all the writings that Luisa had written up to that date.  Fr. Di Francia began publishing them after having obtained the Imprimatur of the Archbishop.
In a letter to Luisa, Father Annibale recalled to her that the archbishop had given him, “in order, jurisdiction over you, your writings, and the publication of them, i.e. to handle and dispose of the said publication, as I see fit” (his own words).  Fr. Annibale enjoys unlimited confidence by Archbishop Leo, as evidenced by extensive documentation. 
This occupation took him steadily, to almost distract him from his commitments of founder: “I want you to know that since I have totally dedicated myself to the great work of the Divine Will, I practically don’t concern myself at all with my institutes.  I talk about it with spiritual people, I keep to this point with those who are able to listen and I promote it as much as I can, even in my institutes…”  (Letter to Luisa Piccarreta – Messina.  Feb 14, 1927)
(Main source:
 click here for main Site for St. Annibale di Francia – it’s in Italian)
Information and map of placement of the statue of St. Annibale di Francia
Click here for Deacon John’s Blog about St. Annibale’s Statue being Blessed by the Pope

Volume 31 – October 9, 1932
The sweet sound of the bell, each other’s ecstasy of the Creator and of the creature.
“My daughter (Luisa), what sweet memory is the Creation of man (Adam).  He (Adam) was created in an Ecstasy of Our Love; so much was Our Love that We (God) remained enraptured before Our Own Work that We put forth to the light.  The beauty enraptured Us (God) with which We had invested him (Adam), the Sanctity Enraptured Us (God) with which We had filled him (Adam), the form, the harmony Enraptured Us with which We had formed him (Adam).  His prerogatives, every quality of his was an Ecstasy of Love that We felt and It Enraptured Us (God) to Love him (Adam).  So that Our Love remained shaken, subjugated and putting Us (God) in Ecstasy, it made arise in Us the working, and imperishableLove toward man (Adam).  And in this Ecstasy of Love, Enraptured as We were, We didn’t mind to anything, no limits were put forth, We showed off so much in Loving him (Adam) and in enriching him (Adam) with all the goods that there didn’t remain any void, so that his love might be full for Us (God) and thus be able to Enrapture Us (God) to love him (Adam) continually.  Whence only the memory of how man was created repeats for Us Our Loving Ecstasy toward him.  Now the one (Luisa) who turns in Our Will, as she (Luisa) finds Our Works that were as prepared in order to then create man, It sounds the bell in order to call all creatures (past, present and future) to recognize this Love of God toward man.  And Its sweet sound calls Our attention, reawakens Our Love, and makes arise in Us (God) Our Ecstasy of Love toward him (mankind) Ecstasy signifies a total re-pouring toward whom the One (God) Loves, and the one (Luisa) who comes into Our Will, and holds the strength to make Us undergo Our Ecstasy of Love so that We (God) flow in her (Luisa), and with Our Power We (God) put the creature (Luisa) in ecstasy for Us, so that nothing remains for her(Luisa) and all flows into Our Supreme Being.  A re-pouring ofself into each other happens, the One into the other.  Therefore there is nothing that pleases Us (God) more than to see the creature (Luisa) in that same Will in which she (Luisa) was created.  To contemplate Our Works, to Know them, to Feel the pulsations of Our Love that every created thing possesses. It was the outfit, that We (God) prepared and gave to man (Adam) in creating so many things and all the Creation.  Now who receives the Life of the Good that created things contain?  Who makes use of this outfit so splendid and with right?  The one (Luisa) who knows them, knowing them she (Luisa) finds Our palpating Love, Our Working Will, and she (Luisa) loves them and loves in them that Supreme Being who so very much Loves her (Luisa).  Therefore be attentive and constant in turning in Our Works, so that We (God) give each other the hand in Loving each other.  We (God) put one another in Ecstasy, and with utility you (Luisa) will make use of the great outfit that with so much Love your Creator has given you (Luisa).”

The Little Daughter of the Divine Will Luisa Piccarreta has been connected with the image of a bell, and St. Annibale’s statue has been placed in an external niche of the Vatican Basilica near the Arch of the Bells.


Vol. 21 – 2/26/27
…But while I was saying this and other things, my Highest Good, Jesus, moved in my interior, and showed three little cords that, tied together, all three of them, were tied in the depth of my soul. These cords were descending from Heaven, and were linked to three bells. Jesus was a little child, and with a grace that cannot be described, and all in a haste, He took the little cords in His tiny little hands and pulled them strongly—but so much that it seemed that those bells formed a peal so loud in Heaven, that the whole of Heaven would come out to see who it was that was sounding with such haste and might as to call the attention of all Heaven.
I too remained stupefied, and my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter (Luisa), the soul in whom My Will reigns has little cords of most pure gold, that descend from the Power of the Father, from the Wisdom of Me, the Son, from the Love of the Holy Spirit. As she operates, loves, prays, suffers, I take the little cords in My hands, and I put Our Power, Wisdom and Love in motion, for the good and the glory of all the Blessed and of all creatures. The sound of these bells is so loud and harmonious as to call everyone, like a sound of invitation to celebrate. This is why all came out to enjoy the feast of your (Luisa’s) act. So, as you see, the acts of the soul in whom My Will reigns are formed in Heaven, in the womb of her Creator; they descend upon earth through the three cords of Our Power, Wisdom and Love, and ascend again to their source, to bring back the glory due to Us. And I delight very much in pulling these cords, so as to make everyone hear the sound of these mysterious bells.”…


Vol. 12 – 12/10/18
…The same for the hidden soul, who is intimate with Me (Jesus): as she prays, though no sound is heard on earth, her prayers, like bells, resound more vibrantly in Heaven, to the extent of calling the whole of Heaven to unite Itself with her, and to let Mercy descend upon the earth, which resounding not to the hearing but to the hearts of creatures, may dispose them to convert.”


M_Santa Maria Greca
Santa Maria Greca

(The following is by Fr. Benedetto Calvi, Parish Priest of the Church with same Name, and last Confessor of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, Nihil
obstat quominus imprimatur, Revisor Eccl., Can. Theol. Ciraselli Petrus, Trani,, Italy, February 10, 1956)
In Her (Our Lady’s) right hand, She holds a long Pastoral cross of Greek style, while She hugs with Her left arm Little Baby Jesus, sustaining Him on Her left knee. Eight Angels reverently crown Her and court Her. A royal crown in the oriental style surrounds Her head. With Her eyes directed toward the observer, and with an air of majesty and love, She seems to say: “Have recourse to Me with confidence. Do not doubt. I am the Queen, but I am also your Mother.” Her garment, cherry red in color, and with wide folds, is tightened on Her waist with a belt, dropping down to Her feet, which wear sandals. The blue mantle, gathered on Her breast, is tied on Her right shoulder and descends like a Royal Mantle. Baby Jesus, seated on Her left maternal knee, is in the act of blessing with His right hand, while His left hand holds the world with a Cross. He wears a white little tunic and a blue mantle, with the same fashion as the one of the Virgin Mother, similar to Greek costumes. On the right side, upon the clouds, at the feet of the Madonna, there is a little bell…




The Book St. Annibale is holding could also be seen as representing the Book of Heaven – the Gospel of Heaven (as well as the Gospel, Matthew 9:38; Luke 19:2, per the news articles)

Vol. 23 – 1/18/28
Now, what I manifest on My Divine Will, and that you write, can be called ‘The Gospel of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.’  In nothing does It oppose either Sacred Scriptures or the Gospel that I announced while being on earth; on the contrary, It can be called the support of one and of the other.  And this is why I allow and I call Priests to come—to read the Gospel, all of Heaven, of the Kingdom of My Divine Fiat, so as to say, as I said to the Apostles:  ‘Preach It throughout the whole world.’  In fact, in My works I make use of the Priesthood; and just as I had the Priesthood before My coming in order to prepare the people, and the Priesthood of My Church in order to confirm My coming and everything I did and said, so will I have the Priesthood of the Kingdom of My Will…

Vol. 24 – 8/23/28
After this, I was concerned about the publication of the writings on the Will of God—especially about certain contrasts; and as I started to pray, my sweet Jesus made Himself seen holding His Heart with His hands, so great was the sorrow He felt; and, all afflicted, He told me:  “My daughter, how sorrowful I feel.  They should have considered themselves honored, and should have boasted about and gloried in making themselves known as the ones who have this great honor to publish the truths on My Holy Will.  I could not have given them a greater honor and glory than calling them to an office so high—but instead, they want to hide.
“How My Heart aches; I feel so much sorrow that I cannot contain it.  The truths about My Fiat are the new Gospel of the Kingdom of My Divine Will, in which they will find the norms, the Sun, the teachings on how to ennoble themselves, elevate themselves to their origin, and take the state given to them by God at the beginning of Creation.  They will find the Gospel that, taking them by the hand, will lead them into true happiness, into constant peace.  The only law will be My Will that, with Its brush of love, dipped in the vivid colors of Its light, will give back to man the Likeness of his Creator.  Oh! how they should have yearned to receive and to make known a good so great.  But, instead, all the opposite.

Vol. 25 – 2/22/29
Jesus kept silent, and I, feeling in suffering, was lamenting and reproaching Jesus for He would not take me to Heaven.
And He:  “Courage, My daughter, there is just about a little left for the Writings on My Divine Fiat.  My very silence says that I am about to complete the great manifestations of the Gospel of the Kingdom of My Divine Will.  So I did in the Kingdom of Redemption:  during the last days of My Life, I did not add anything else; on the contrary, I hid Myself; and if I said anything it was a repetition, in order to confirm what I had already said, because what I had said was sufficient so that all might receive the goods of being redeemed—it was up to them to take advantage of it.
“So it will be for the Kingdom of My Divine Will:  once I have said everything, in such a way that nothing may be lacking in order to be able to receive the good of knowing It, and to be able to possess all of Its goods, then I will have no more interest in keeping you on earth—it will be up to them to take advantage of it.”

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