Every 7th June, the Church celebrates St. Anthony Gianelli, Bishop of Bobbio and founder of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden.
One can easily recognise the influence of St. Alphonsus Liguori on the lives of other saints, above all in the three Redemptorist saints, such as St. Gerard Majella, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer and St. John Nepomuk Neumann.
However, outside the Redemptorist Congregation, St. Alphonsus managed to inspire and propose his doctrine and ministry. This is the case of St. Anthony Maria Gianelli, an Italian saint born two years after the death of St. Alphonsus.
St. Anthony Gianelli came close to the teachings of St. Alphonsus even before he was canonised. The saint, in fact, was able to see his master elevated to the altars seven years before his death.
The influence of St. Alphonsus on the life of this saint is linked to his moral studies and his missionary method. Such was the identification of St. Anthony Gianelli that he founded a male missionary congregation under the protection of St. Alphonsus. This congregation, which had the name “Oblates of St. Alphonsus Liguori”, no longer exists, but it was of great importance.
In 1838, when St. Anthony Gianelli was appointed bishop of Bobbio in Italy, he was assisted by the “Liguorian Fathers” in reorganising the diocese, who scolded the less zealous priests and even expelled the unworthy ones.
St. Anthony Gianelli died prematurely, at the age of 57, on 7 June 1846. In his works, this saint expounded his somewhat ‘revolutionary’ thoughts when he spoke of the morality of the clergy in simplicity and uprightness in following Christ.
In addition to the order of the ‘Ligorine Fathers’, the saint founded the female congregation Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden. This religious order remains to this day.