St. Anthony Mary Gianelli was born in Genoa, Italy, in a poor but pious family. He attended seminary, showing great promise, through the generosity of the owner of his family farm. Because Anthony was so young when he completed his studies, he required a special dispensation to be ordained, becoming a priest in 1812.

As a parish priest, Anthony founded a few religious communities, although not all of them lasted. In 1827, he established the Missionaries of St. Alphonsus, which existed until 1848. He also founded the Oblates of St. Alphonsus the following year, but they lasted only 20 years. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Garden, which he founded in 1829, is still in operation in Europe, Asia, and the United States today, ministering in education and among the sick.

In 1837, Anthony was named bishop of Bobbio, Italy. He worked to restore devotion and instruct the faithful, visiting with his parishes frequently. After nine years as bishop, St. Anthony died due to a serious fever on June 7, 1846. He was canonized in 1951.