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History of Our Order

The "Company of the Servants of the Poor" was founded in 1534 when Jerome Emiliani called together his collaborators and companions for a general assembly. This handful of laymen and priests adopted an organized structure for the movement of religious and social reform started by Jerome in 1529 in Venice. Their goal was to dedicate themselves to the care, assistance, promotion of poor, orphans, abandoned youth, sick, etc, to any kind of works of mercy, and to any pastoral ministry according to the instructions of the Bishops.

First the Company was recognized by the Papal Nuncio to the Republic of Venice in 1535 and then approved by Pope Paul III in 1540, and finally constituted as a Religious Order by Pius V in 1568 with the name of Somascan Regular Clerics. At this time the first Constitutions were issued to define a common lifestyle for all its members, both lay and clergy.
In 1767, the Church canonized his Founder, Jerome Emiliani. Moved by the zeal of its Founder, the Order extended its charitable ministries beyond the care of orphans by supporting and staffing seminaries (just then mandated by the Council of Trent), by educating and forming youth, and by ministering to people in parishes. Its expansion, however, was abruptly stopped by laws obstructing religious life issued by Napoleon in 1810 and by the Italian government in 1861. It followed a painful dark period characterized by persecution, injustice, suffering, from which only at the beginning of the XX century has the Order emerged with new vitality. It expansion resumed, reaching new continents and new countries. Nowadays, the Somascans number about 500 religious.

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TODAY

The Somascan Fathers and Brothers continue St. Jerome's mission by: living in communities pursuing holiness by prayer and ministry to the poor living in humility and kindness loving poverty and work praying to the Crucified Jesus and Mary Mother of the Orphans being either priests or brothers. Performing different ministries in the Church, such as: care of orphans, disadvantaged and poor treatment of at-risk-youth rehabilitation of drug addicts education pastoral care and spiritual guidance pastoral care of minorities foreign missions youth formation. Working in: group homes treatment and rehabilitation centers retreat houses schools youth centers parishes. Somascan efforts are in the following countries: Europe: Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, Americas: USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil Asia: Philippines, India, Sri-Lanka, Australia.
 

SOMASCAN FATHERS AND BROTHERS

Continue St. Jerome Mission by:
- living in communities
- pursuing holiness by prayer and ministry to the poor
- living in humility and meekness
- loving work
- devotion to the Crucified Jesus and Mary Mother of the Orphans
- being either priest or brother.

Perform different ministries in the Church, such as:
- care of orphans and disadvantaged
- treatment of at-risk youth
- rehabilitation of drug addicts
- education
- pastoral care and spiritual guidance
- pastoral care of minorities