Baldinucci, Antonio, Bl.

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Jesuit and preacher of popular missions; b. Florence, Italy, June 19, 1665; d. Pofio, Nov. 7, 1717. Baldinucci entered the famous Jesuit novitiate of Sant' Andrea, Rome, on April 21, 1681. He was ordained on Oct. 28, 1695. His precarious health led his superiors to refuse his repeated requests to labor as a missionary in India. Instead he was assigned in 1697 to mission work in the Italian provinces of Abruzzi and Romagna. During his remaining 20 years Baldinucci preached 448 popular missions, one to two weeks in length, traveling on foot (usually barefoot) from town to town. His preaching manner was dramatic, impassioned, and extraordinarily successful. He always carried with him a miraculous picture of the Madonna, and frequently preached laden with chains or bearing a heavy cross. At times he scourged himself publicly until blood flowed to obtain the conversion of hardened sinners. His techniques, while startling, were effective for the audiences of his day. He collapsed in October 1717 while serving the sick of his famine-stricken area. Leo XIII beatified him in 1893.

Feast: July 2 (Jesuits).

Bibliography: f. j. corley and r. j. willmes, Wings of Eagles: The Jesuit Saints and Blessed (Milwaukee, WI 1941). f. m. galluzzi, Vida del venerable padre Antonio Baldinucci, missionero apostolico de la Compañia de Jesus (Mexico City 1760). j. n. tylenda, Jesuit Saints and Martyrs (Chicago 1998) 37880. e. lamalle, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart (Paris 1912) 6:337339. c. sommervogel, Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 1:828829; 8:1733. Acta Sanctorum Nov. 3:723742.

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