Jerome Emiliani

girolamo miani) (1481-1537. Founder of the Somaschi, a Counter-Reformation* order of clerks regular, specializing in the care of orphans. Born in Venice of noble parentage, he fought in the Venetian army against the League of Cambrai (1508). He was ordained (1518), returning to Venice to devote himself to relieving suffering following the invasion of N Italy. He opened a hospital at Verona (1518) and the house in Somasca near Bergamo, from which his order was named. He founded at Bergamo Italy's first home for prostitutes. He died at Somasca from typhus contracted while tending sufferers. He was made patron of orphans and abandoned children in 1928. The Somaschi, founded in 1528, began a community life under Augustinian Rule in 1532, were approved by Paul III in 1540, and raised to the rank of order by Pius V in 1568.