Prayer for the Intercession of
St. Anthony Gianelli
May 14, 1995
Brother John Raymond
On April 12, 1789, Anthony was born to Mary and James Gianelli.
The Gianelli family lived about ten hours from Rome in a little
agricultural village named Cereta.
Anthony's parents were a good example for all. His father was a
man of hard work and sacrifice. His mother was pious. Both of them
were generous toward the poor. It is told that one time his father
gave his own portion of the family dinner to a beggar at the door.
Another time two young men got into an argument and one of them
pulled a knife. His father stepped between them hoping to end the
violence. But he was stabbed seriously in the side. Upon his
recovery from this wound James Gianelli did not sue his assailant as
the law permitted, contrary to the advice of his friends. Instead,
he asked him to be the godfather of one of his children. This began
a lasting friendship between the two families.
As a complement to Mr. Gianelli's kindness and generosity, Mrs.
Gianelli was a catechism teacher. It was from her that Anthony at an
early age learned the doctrines of the Faith. The boy's interest in
prayer and the Faith suggested to his mother, as well as the
villagers, that he might have a vocation to the priesthood.
Anthony showed ability to learn. But his studies were a financial
burden to his poor family. His father preferred that Anthony work on
the farm. But his mother was always encouraging that he continue
studying. Anthony's brothers did not like the fact that while he
studied they had to work on the farm. At times they would make fun
of him. Even at school Anthony's piety was a cause for jealousy
among the other students. One day a group of boys insulted Anthony
and threw stones at him after school. Anthony just kept walking only
saying that he forgave them and was open to being their friend if
they would accept him.
When Anthony finished grammar school he wanted to go to the
seminary. His family simply could not afford it. Fortunately, the
owner of the Gianelli's farm took a liking to Anthony. She sponsored
his schooling. He was ordained May 24, 1812.
In 1827 Fr. Anthony founded the "Missionaries of St. Alphonsus,"
which unfortunately dissolved in 1856. The next year he began the
"Oblates of St. Alphonsus" that also broke up in 1848. But in 1829
Fr. Anthony began the "Sisters of Our Lady of the Garden," taking
their name from a local shrine with this title of Mary. They
dedicated themselves to serve the people through education, care of
the sick and prayer. They continue to this day.
In 1837 Fr. Anthony was made bishop of Bobbio. To help instruct
the faithful of his diocese he organized the societies of St.
Raphael and St. Dorothea that were dedicated to catechetics. He was
a zealous bishop. Within eight years he had conducted two synods and
visited all his parishes three times. In 1844 his mother, who had
been living with him, died. The following year he came down with an
illness. Unfortunately the doctor's treatment turned out to be worse
than the illness; he nearly died from it. His health was permanently
damaged. Two years later, as a result of over-exporsure to the sun
while praying before an image of Our Lady, he came down with a
serious fever. His health quickly deteriorated. On June 7, 1846 he
died. Bishop Anthony Gianelli was canonized by Pope Pius II on
October 21, 1951.
O St. Anthony Gianelli, who through your work have shown such
great love to all, intercede for the bishops of the world and
especially my bishop (name). Help our bishops to spread the Gospel
to all men so that through them all men may find the way to
salvation. I ask you to intercede on my behalf so that through your
powerful intercession I may obtain the grace that I so ardently
desire (name it). Intercede for me and for all those who are dear to
me peace of mind, perseverance in good works and a holy death. Amen.