Gianelli, Anthony, St.

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Bishop, religious founder; b. Cereta (Liguria), Italy, Apr. 12, 1789; d. Piacenza, June 7, 1846. Born of a poor family, he attended the seminary at Genoa due to the generosity of a benefactress, and was ordained (1812). The following year he began a decade of teaching rhetoric. In 1826 he became archpriest at Chiavari, and in 1838 bishop of Bobbio. While a professor, he developed a new method of education. He gained a wide reputation as an eloquent, tireless, popular preacher, and conductor of retreats to the clergy. As a writer he published nine valuable tracts on varied subjects. Four volumes of his discourses have been printed; nine others remain in MS. His correspondence was also very extensive and helped promote many vocations. He was a member of the Società Economica, whose aims were cultural and charitable. In 1829 he founded the Daughters of our lady of the garden, or Gianelline; and in 1839, the Oblates of St. Alfonsus for clerical formation, but this group did not survive him. As bishop he continued his zealous activities, held two diocesan synods, and proved himself both a saintly prelate and a capable administrator, firm in principles. He was beatified April 19, 1925, by Pius XI, and canonized Oct. 21, 1951, by Pius XII.

Feast: June 7.

Bibliography: c. sanguineti, Il beato A. M. Gianelli (Turin 1925). g. frediani, S. Antonio Maria Gianelli: Profilo biografico (2d ed. Rome 1951); Bibliotheca sanctorum (Rome 1961) 2:211216.

[a. ferraironi]