Feast of the day


2/8/2021 12:00:00 AM


        St. Jerome Emiliani was a member of one of the patrician families of Venice; and like many other Saints was a soldier in early life. After being appointed governor of a fortress among the mountains of Treviso, he was captured by the enemy while bravely defending his post.

        Imprisoned in a dungeon, Jerome invoked the great Mother of God and promised to lead a new, better life if she would set him free. In reponse, Our Lady appeared, broke his fetters, and led him forth through the midst of his enemies. At Treviso, Jerome hung up his chains at Mother Mary's altar, dedicated himself to Her service, and on reaching his home at Venice devoted himself to a life of active charity.

        Jerome's caritas was for deserted orphans during times of plague or famine. He took them in, clothed and fed them, and provided Christian education. From Venice, Jerome went to Padua and Verona, and in a few years founded orphanages through Northern Italy. Some pious clerics and laymen, who had been his fellow-workers, fixed their abode in one of these establishments, and devoted themselves to the cause of education. The Saint drew up for them a rule of life and thus founded the Congregation, which still exists, of the Clerks Regular of Somascha.

        St. Jerome passed away on February 8, 1537 from the plague, which he contracted while caring for the sick.