Saint Anthony Gianelli

     Anthony was only 23 at the date of his ordination to the priesthood, on May 24, 1812, the day of the Holy Trinity. During the first fourteen years of his ministry, he filled many different assignments. He served as an Assistant Parish Priest at St. Matthew Church in Genoa, a rhetoric teacher, a mission preacher, a professor and Director of Discipline at the Seminary of Genoa, a spiritual director of many Religious Sisters.

     In 1826 Father Gianelli was named Dean of the priests in the city of Chiavary. During the twelve years in this service he accomplished some of his most important work. In November of 1826 he opened the Seminary of Chiavari where he became the Prefect of studies. One year later, in 1827, he enrolled himself as Member of the Economic Society (for the development of the arts, industry, agriculture and commerce) and founded the "Ladies of Charity", the female branch of the above-stated society. At the end of 1827 Gianelli founded the "Missionaries of St. Alfonso de Liguori" to dedicate themselves particularly to preach missions.

     Very sensitive to the needs of people and inflamed with charity, on January 12, 1829 he gathered together a group of thirteen women willing to dedicate themselves completely to the glory of God and the salvation of people. Since the house in which this order began was near the central Shrine of Chiavary, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Garden, the Founder entrusted the new order to her care. From then to this day, dedicated women have never failed to carry on his work by teaching, nursing and helping all those in need. In addition, in 1833, on behalf of Cardinal Tadini, Archbishop of Genoa, Father Gianelli reformed the Augustinian Nuns of Varese Ligure.