Anthony grew up in a poor but pious family in a small farming village in Lombardy, Italy. The owner of his family farm paid for Anthony’s seminary education because he was such a promising student. He was very young for ordination and required a special dispensation, however he was ordained in 1812 and served as a parish priest, and eventually founded several religious communities, some of them short-lived.
In 1827, he founded the Missionaries of St. Alphonsus, which lasted until 1856. He also founded the Oblates of Saint Alphonsus in 1828, which lasted only 20 years. The Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden, which he founded in 1829, still continue their ministry in education and among the sick in Europe, Asia and the United States.
He was named bishop of Bobbio, Italy in 1837 and actively restored devotions and instructed the faithful. He was a people’s bishop, visiting with his parishes and organizing two synods. He died after nine years as bishop on June 7, 1846 due to a serious fever and tuberculosis.
He was canonized in 1951.
O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Saint Anthony Mary Gianelli, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.