Anthony Danei – Fr. Anthony of the Passion C.P.

14th July is the anniversary of the ordination of Anthony Danei.  He was the younger brother of St. Paul of the Cross and John Baptist and the third of the Danei family to join the Passionists. He was born in Campo Ligure on 4th February 1710 and baptised on 6th February 1710.  Martino Bartoli C.P., in his book “Catalogue of Passionist Religious (1741-1775)” documents that Anthony was clothed with the habit somewhere between 10-14 June 1730 and professed on 11th June 1941 at Monte Argentario.  He was ordained by Bishop Palmieri on 14th July 1734.   Anthony left the Passionists on 30th October 1742, joined the community once again and was clothed with the Passionist habit a second time on 20th November 1743 and made his profession on 1st March 1744.  He finally departed the Congregation in August September 1761. He died in 1792 and is buried with the Danei family in Castellazzo.

A letter of St. Paul of the Cross to the Bishop of Alessandria –

San Angelo, May 21, 1768


Your Excellency, 

With complete submission of my poor soul, I come, kneeling with the respectful letter of mine, to your feet to seek from your always great charity and mercy a favor on behalf of the poor priest Anthony Danei, my brother. Some years ago, because of his illness, more especially from his hypochondria, he could not endure our solitude nor continue with our penitential life, although our life is very prudent, and he asked to leave the Congregation in order to see whether he could free himself from his illness, especially his hypochondria that made him a burden to himself and to others. Consequently, having examined carefully his motives and the circumstances which were moving him to seek to leave the Congregation, finally with the counsel and vote of the senior members I granted him his leave. 

But I confess that I provided him with a testimonial that was a bit too severe. Therefore, on reflecting afterwards, it seems to me that I was lacking in true charity, perhaps lacking even in justice. Last year, it seems to me, with due counsel I changed it in a more charitable and equitable way. 

Now he finds himself in Genoa where he has opportunity to cooperate for the salvation of souls. But not having any ecclesiastical employment to maintain himself and continue in that city where he was living, the poor fellow had recourse to me, asking to be readmitted into the Congregation, where he had been received by me two or three times. But notwithstanding his resolution, after some days of trial he did not succeed in persevering because of the reasons mentioned above, which made him always more incapable. So in conscience I could not accept him because experience taught me that he could not persevere, as well as to avoid the gossip of this miserable world. 

Accordingly, I, with my face in the dust, am appealing to your piety to be pleased to accept this sheep with your well-known kindness and out of pure charity if there is some opening to provide him with a niche in which to live as a good priest since he cannot endure our life. With the ability the Mercy of God has given him, he has helped his neighbor much. My interest is that he have some ecclesiastical appointment in your diocese so that he can live as a holy priest under your authoritative protection and obedience.I am trusting in your great clemency, and with all our poor Congregation I will always give you a share in my poor prayers as long as I live, and I will not lack at all in my duty to you as my pastor since Divine Providence had me come from your diocese. 

I am letting you know that our Congregation is much blessed by God. We have twelve houses and are provided with qualified members. New ones come continually. Now I am in the process of setting up two foundations, one of which is in a solitary place near one of the principal cities of
Italy. His Divine Majesty has also given us a location in
Rome, where there are religious and our general procurator. Meanwhile, I ask for your holy prayers so that His Divine Majesty may grant me the grace to fulfill in everything his Holy Will. Kneeling to kiss your holy pastoral vestments, with profound reverence, veneration, and respect I ask your blessing and am,

Your devoted, respectful, and obligated servant, 

Paul of the Cross

(Letter 1713, Volume III, Letters of St. Paul of the Cross)

One Response to “Anthony Danei – Fr. Anthony of the Passion C.P.”

  1. Laus Crucis » Antonio Danei Says:

    […] Today Father Gary has a post at The Passionist Charism on Saint Paul of the Cross’s brother, Antonio Danei, whose anniversary of ordination is tomorrow. Antonio was the first witness to be called at the Ordinary Process for the Beatification and Canonisation of Paul of the Cross held in Alessandria in July 1777, less than two years after Paul’s death. Antonio was only ten years old when his brother Paul embarked on his new way of life after receiving the black habit of a penitent-hermit from Bishop Gattinara of Alessandria. At the time of the Canonisation Processes, Antonio was sixty-seven years old. He describes himself as a secular priest and poor ecclesiastic. In his testimony he describes how one day, while he was living with Paul on Monte Argentario, he went into Paul’s room when Paul wasn’t there and, out of curiosity, he opened a drawer in which he found a book covered in parchment and bound with thread. When he opened it, he discovered that it was a manuscript written in Paul’s own hand. He began to read it. In the book Paul described how, coming one day from the Capuchin church (in Castellazo), after having received communion, as he was returning home along a street called de’ Corazza, he saw himself in spirit clothed in a black robe with a white cross on the breast, under which was the name of Jesus, and he heard these words: This is a sign of how pure that heart must be which must carry the most holy name of Jesus graven upon it. Antonio concludes the story by saying: In reading this, I was completely filled with feelings of tenderness, and I could not hold back the tears; however, I read no further for fear of being surprised there by Father Paul (Processi, II, 10). Antonio’s recollection about forty years after he read the text bears an amazing similarity to Paul’s own account of the experience in the Preface to the Rule. […]

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