Saint Antonio Maria Gianelli

Saint Antonio Maria Gianelli
Born: 12th April 1789 Cerreto, Italy
Died: 7th June 1846
Feast Day: 7th June
Patron Saint: Bobbio, Val di Vara Figlie di Nostra Signora del Giardino
Symbols in Art: Episcopal Attire, Crozier 
Also Known As: Antony Gianelli
Beatified: 19th April 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Canonised: 21st October 1951 by Pope Pius XII

Saint Antonio was born on 12th April 1789 in Cerrato, Italy to a poor but pious family.  His father was known as the local peacemaker and his mother taught catechism.  As a child Antonio was noted for his gentleness, self-motivation in education and his intellect.  Antonio was such a promising student that the owner of the farm generously paid for his seminary education in Genoa.  Following his ordination on 24th May 1812, when he needed special dispensation because of his young age, he became a parish priest.  He soon distinguished himself with his virtuousness and eloquence in preaching.

As well as preaching Antonio dedicated himself to organising missions which produced many converts.  Antonio was made Archpriest of Chiavari, Italy in 1826 and in 1827 he established the Missionaries of Saint Alphonsus which lasted until 1856.  He established the Oblate of Saint Alphonsus in 1828 which lasted until 1848.  He established the Sisters of Our Lady of the Garden in 1829, a women’s teaching order that also works with the sick.  This is still going today.

Antonio became Bishop of Bobbio, Italy in 1837, ruling prudently and firmly and organised the Society of Saint Raphael and Society of Saint Dorothea to instruct the faithful in his diocese. 

Antonio conducted two synods and spent much of his time on the road going from parish to parish visiting the congregations.  Antonio is known for his educational work as well as his preaching ability and was also a great confessor.  He died on 7th June 1846 with a fever.