JEROME EMILIANI, FOUNDER
Jerome Emiliani (1483–1537) was the founder of the Somoscan Fathers, an order that runs schools and orphanages in Italy. Born in Venice, he became an offi cer of the Venetian army. In 1518, after a conversion experience he was ordained a priest and devoted his life to the care of suffering people in a time of widespread famine and plague. After his own recovery from the plague in 1531, he founded orphanages, hospitals, houses for former prostitutes, and a small congregation of priests to care for them all, but especially the orphans. He was canonized in 1768 and declared the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children in 1928. His feast is on the General Roman Calendar.