Choose your language EoF

Saint of the Day for 8 February: St. Jerome Emiliani

St. Jerome Emiliani: Life, Works and Legacy of the Patron of Orphans and Young People in Difficulty


St. Jerome Emiliani




1486, Venice


February 8, 1537, Somàsca


8 February


2004 edition


1747, Unknown


1767, Unknown


O St. Jerome. who in the course of your mortal life and even after your glorious death have always shown the power of your intercession with God on behalf of the sick by working or their relief prodigious miracles; you who by causing salutary water to gush forth from a cliff, have opened for your devotees a Perennial fountain of wonders and graces; obtain from God healing for the sick (infirm). Therefore we beseech Thee, that it too may experience (it) the effects of Thy mighty intercession. in which it places all its hope. So be it.

Patron of

Vercurago, Quero Vas


of abandoned youth, orphans

Roman Martyrology

At Somàsca, in the territory of Bergamo, the birthplace of St. Jerome Emiliani Confessor, who was Founder of the Somàsca Congregation, and, illustrious for many miracles in life and after death, by the Supreme Pontiff Clemènte decimoterzo was ascribed to the catalog of Saints, and by Pope Pius eleventh was elected and declared universal Patron to God of orphans and derelict youth. His feast, however, is celebrated on the twentieth of July.


The Saint and Mission

St. Jerome Emiliani, a saint whose life was transformed from capture in battle to a deep commitment to the service of the most vulnerable, embodies a mission of love and dedication that continues to inspire. After experiencing a radical change in his heart while in captivity, Jerome dedicated his life to the relief of orphans, the poor and the sick, founding the Order of Clerics Regular of Somasca, dedicated to the care and education of abandoned youth. St. Jerome Emiliani’s mission was rooted in a deep understanding of the inherent dignity of every person and the Christian duty to assist those in need. His work was not just an act of charity, but a manifestation of social justice, recognizing that every child deserves love, education and the possibility of a better future. Through his actions, Jerome showed that caring for the needy is not just a moral duty, but a call to reflect God’s merciful love in the world. St. Jerome Emiliani’s life is a powerful example of how faith can translate into concrete action. His approach to the education and care of young people emphasized the importance of providing not only physical needs, but also spiritual and moral guidance, preparing young people to live full and meaningful lives. This holistic view of youth care demonstrates his deep understanding of Christian mission as a commitment to promoting the total well-being of the individual. Moreover, St. Jerome’s resilience and perseverance in overcoming challenges and adversity in his work reveal the strength of his faith and his unconditional commitment to the mission he felt he had received from God. His story is a reminder that, even in the face of difficulties, it is possible to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others with determination and trust in divine providence. St. Jerome Emiliani represents a call to action for all Christians, reminding us that the mission to serve and love the most vulnerable among us is fundamental to the life of faith. His legacy inspires us to look beyond our own needs, to recognize the face of Christ in those in need and to respond with compassion and dedication.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Jerome Emiliani, founder of the Order of the Clerics Regular of Somasca, is an emblematic figure of Christian mercy, whose impact transcends the centuries. His life, marked by profound spiritual transformation, becomes a shining example of how mercy can be lived and manifested through concrete actions on behalf of those most in need. Jerome, once a soldier who became a prisoner of war, experienced a profound conversion that led him to devote the rest of his existence to the service of orphans, the sick and all those on the margins of society. This outburst of mercy was motivated not only by a sense of pity, but by a genuine understanding of God’s love for every creature, especially the smallest and most defenseless. His work in caring for orphans and abandoned youth reflects a mercy that goes beyond mere charity. Jerome strove to provide not only food and shelter, but also education and training, enabling these young people to build a decent future. In this, his vision of mercy included recognizing the inherent worth and potential of each person, seeking to restore their dignity and offer them hope. Moreover, St. Jerome Emiliani’s mercy was manifested in his approach to social justice. He did not just alleviate immediate suffering, but also sought to address the roots of injustice that contributed to poverty and neglect. His life teaches us that true mercy involves striving for a more just world in which all can live with dignity. St. Jerome Emiliani reminds us that mercy is a call to action, a commitment that requires courage, dedication and a heart open to the suffering of others. His legacy continues to inspire, showing us that through mercy we can reflect God’s love in the world, transforming people’s lives and building more compassionate and supportive communities. The life of St. Jerome Emiliani is a powerful reminder of the central role of mercy in Christianity, highlighting how it should be expressed not only in words, but especially through concrete actions of love and service to others.

The Somàsca Congregation

The Somasca Congregation, founded by St. Jerome Emiliani in the 16th century, is an emblem of dedication and service to those most in need, particularly young people and orphans. Its birth, rooted in the profound spiritual experience and conversion of its founder, reflects a concrete response to the social and spiritual needs of the time, a commitment that continues to be relevant to this day. The mission of the Somasca Congregation is imbued with a deep sense of mercy and compassion, values that were at the heart of St. Jerome Emiliani’s ministry. Through education, care and spiritual guidance, the Somaschi have been committed to reflecting Christ’s love for the marginalized, offering not only material support but also hope and a path to a better future. This religious order has been able to adapt to the challenges of various eras, always keeping at the center the vision of its founder: that of a Christianity lived as active service and unconditional love of neighbor. The Somaschi’s commitment to education, in particular, demonstrates a belief in the transformative capacity of education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty and exclusion. The Somasca Congregation, moreover, witnesses how faith can be translated into actions capable of changing society. Their work, ranging from direct assistance to people in need to the fight against social injustices that generate poverty and abandonment, is a living example of how the Church can be a leaven of justice and peace in the world. The Somasca Congregation continues to be a beacon of hope and a model of active Christian charity. Their history and work are a powerful reminder that the call to follow Christ is a call to action, to put one’s faith at the service of others, especially the least and those forgotten by society. Their dedication inspires all believers to consider how their own lives and actions can reflect God’s mercy and love in the contemporary world.


From the noble family of Emiliani, S. Girolamo was born in Venice in 1486. His childhood and youth are almost totally unknown to us, and it is not until 1511, when he was in his thirties, that we find him a captain of the Venetian republic. at the defense of Castelnuovo, an important Trevisan fortress. There he displayed all his valor and all his art as a shrewd captain, but attacked by far superior French forces he had to surrender. The victors, having had Jerome in their hands, loaded him with chains and threw him into prison. Having now lost all hope in human aid, the poor man confidently turned to Mary, promising her with a vow to go barefoot to her shrine in Treviso and there lay his chains and sword at her feet should he be freed. Our Lady listened to him, and…


Source and Images

You might also like