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Rome Reports

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The pope blesses the statue of Saint Hannibal di Francia in the Vatican

Hundreds of people waited for the pope. Despite the strong heat, they wanted to participate in one of the most emotional moments for the Congregation.

Fr. Angelo Sardone

Postulator General, Rogationists

In the first years of the last century, Father Hannibal, who was visiting St. Peter?s Basilica, saw there were several empty nooks. A friend told him ?look at how many empty nooks there are?. He jokingly answered: ?Who knows if one day they?ll put me and you here together.”

The statue arrived to the Vatican some weeks ago. It measures five meters and is made from a block of marble from Carrara, Italy.

The work has lasted for years. They first had to make a life size replica in resin to test the stability and size. Once it was measured, it was done in marble.

Giuseppe Ducrot

Sculptor

“We started with the sketches basically five years ago and after we made a real model in 2008 to try in the nook.”

Fr. Angelo Sardone

Postulator General, Rogationists

“It reflects well the feeling of the Congregation?s unity because this statue shows the world the essential aspects of our charism, which are prayers and initiatives for the vocations.”

Hannibal di Francia is represented with the Bible in one hand, opened on the chapter in which Jesus asks for prayer for new vocations.

This saint is also known for his work with orphans and the poor, which started when an indigent took him to one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city, Messina.

The Congregation, which now celebrates its General Chapter, hopes that through this figure many people will come to know its founder.

PVB/IS

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