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|Blessed Anthony Baldinucci|
|Born||19 June 1665Florence, Italy,|
|Died||6 November 1717 (aged 52)|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||April 23, 1893 by Pope Leo XIII|
|Attributes||depicted with a miraculous picture of the Virgin Mary as the Refuge of Sinners|
Baldinucci was born in Florence, the son of artist Filippo Baldinucci. He entered the Society of Jesus on April 21, 1681, and was ordained as a priest on October 28, 1695. His poor health kept him from becoming a missionary to India, China, or Japan, but he instead worked in central Italy, specifically in the cities of Frascati and Viterbo. He would continue to work in this area for the rest of his life. For four months of every year he would conduct missions. Between 1697 and 1717 he visited 30 dioceses and gave an average of 22 missions per year. The missions were generally centered on meditations from the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola.
He regularly employed unusual, attention-getting means in his preaching. These included organizing processions which would start from various areas of the country to the place where he was holding the mission. Many of the people in these processions would wear crowns of thorns and scourge themselves. Given the size of these processions, Baldinucci often employed a number of laymen (whom he called deputati) to help manage the crowd. Many of these "deputati" were drawn from the people he thought might otherwise be tempted to disrupt the processions.
Baldinucci himself walked barefoot to each mission assignment, often carried a cross during his preaching, and often wore heavy chains. He would also walk through the assembled people scourging himself to the point of drawing blood and beyond. He would often finish these missions with the burning of various possible instruments of vice, including cards, dice, musical instruments, and the like, in the public square. People were reported to also lay their daggers and pistols at his feet at this time. His appearances were so popular and well attended that he often found crowds covering the walls of city when he arrived to deliver a mission.
He had a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary, and made sure that a miraculous picture of her as the Refuge of Sinners was carried with him in his travels. He also worked diligently to spread devotion to Mary in his travels.
In addition to his preaching, he also wrote two courses of sermons for Lent, gathered material for many more, composed a number of discourses, and maintained a long correspondence list.
- Catholic Encyclopedia article on Anthony Baldinucci
- Jesuit saints and blesseds page on Anthony Baldinucci
- Catholic Online page on Anthony Baldinucci
- Patron Saints index page on Anthony Baldinucci