At the age of thirty, Anthony Baldinucci, of Florence, Italy, was ordained a Jesuit priest. Two years later, he undertook the apostolate of giving parish missions in central Italy. On his way to each parish, he would always walk barefoot as a penance with the intent “that God may be moved by my sufferings to touch the hearts of my hearers,” as he once explained. During these missions, he allotted all his time to preaching, hearing confessions, catechizing children, visiting the sick, and continuing his own prayer life. Father Baldinucci was deeply devoted to the Eucharist, the Passion of Christ, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He highly revered an image of the Blessed Virgin with the title, “Refuge of Sinners,” attributing numerous conversions and miraculous cures to its veneration. When in 1717 Father Baldinucci fell ill with his final illness, he asked to be placed in his room this image of Mary, before which he repeatedly prayed, “Show yourself to be a Mother.” As his end neared, he gazed sometimes heavenward, sometimes toward the picture, uttering the aspiration, “Jesus and Mary, my hope.”
O sinner, be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all you necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity.
–Saint Basil the Great
We humbly ask you, almighty God, that at the intercession of blessed Anthony Baldinucci you may multiply your gifts among us and order our days in peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.