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jerome emilianiJerome Emiliani was born in Venice in 1486.  He led a dissolute life.  Serving as a soldier, he was taken captive but attributed his liberation to the intercession of Our Lady.  Henceforth he dedicated himself to a life of charity.  He founded a congregation of clerks regular known as the Somaschi, dedicated to the education of children, especially orphans.  He died of the plague in 1537 while caring for the afflicted at Somascha in the Bergamese District.  In 1928 he was named patron of orphans and abandoned children.

bahkitaJosephine Bakhita was born in the Darfur region of the Sudan in 1868 and spent much of her early life as a slave.  She eventually settled in Italy, where she converted to Christianity and entered the Canossian Daughters of Charity at Schio, near Vicenza.  Serving quietly as the community’s portress, cook and sacristan, she gained a reputation for exceptional piety and holiness.  She died in 1947.

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