Saint Jerome Emiliani

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By Catholic Digest Staff

Saint Jerome Emiliani
Feast Day: February 8

Venetian Commander of the Castelnuovo Fortress in northern Italy, Girolamo Emiliani (1481-1537) was captured when the town fell to the League of Cambrai, the combined armies of rival states committed to halting the expansion of Venetian trade. Thrown into a dungeon and bound with iron shackles, the army officer re-evaluated his life and repented his lack of religious commitment. Desperately praying to Our Lady for salvation, Mary answered his sincere plea, and he made a miraculous escape during the night. Arriving at Treviso he hung his chains in the church and devoted himself to priesthood. As plague and famine swept through the country he cared for the sick and opened a hospital, several orphanages, and a house for repentant prostitutes. Pope Pius XI declared him the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children.

Catholic Digest Staff