St. Jerome EmilianiThe Emiliani Project strives to not only to help children, but the Christian community at large.  As such, we have an open invitation for guests to submit posts for this blog that are relevant to The Emiliani Project and our mission.

About today’s author:  Brandon is an 8th grader at the Saint Patrick’s School in Carlsbad, California.  We offer our thanks for his time and dedication in writing this post.  If you wish to become a guest blogger, please send your submission to: as we are eager to hear what you have to say!

St. Jerome Emiliani: Patron Saint of Orphaned and Abandoned Children

Jerome Emiliani was born to Angelo Emiliani and Eleanor Mauroceni in 1481 in Venice, Italy where he grew up.  At the age of 15, Jerome’s father died and he ran away from his home.  In 1506, he became a soldier where he helped defend Castelnuovo, a territory in central Italy, from the league of Cambray – an alliance made by Roman emperor Maximilian I, Pope Julius II, King Louis XII of France, and King Ferdinand V of Aragon.  He was captured and chained in a dungeon.  During his captivity, he prayed to Mary for help and was unexpectedly freed by an apparition.  After being freed, he hung the chains in the Church of Treviso, in Veneto, northern Italy, as a tribute to the answering of his prayers.  This was the start of his conversion to Christianity and service to the Lord.

During a plague and famine that swept Italy, Jerome Emiliani began helping the sick, poor, and abandoned children and later became a priest in 1518.  Fourteen years later, he started a congregation for educating children.  He later founded six orphanages, a hospital, and a home for regretful prostitutes in northern Italy.  Jerome spent the remainder of his life dedicated to serving the sick, especially abandoned children.  In 1537, Jerome Emiliani caught a disease in Somasca, Lombardy while helping the sick and he died.

Pope Clement XIII declared Jerome Emiliani a saint in 1767 and Pope Pius XI recognized him as the patron saint of orphaned and abandoned children in 1928.

The Emiliani Project was named in honor of Saint Jerome Emiliani and his work with the helpless orphaned and abandoned children of Italy.  Our mission is to follow in Saint Jerome’s footsteps by building safe and nurturing environments for abandoned children around the world.

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