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Mater Orphanorum was founded on September 8, 1945, and it emerged from the heart of Father Giovanni Antonio Rocco from the Order of the Somascan Fathers. He founded it in the same spirit of his  Founder Saint Jerome Emiliani, the universal Father of the orphans and the abandoned youth.

With the approval of the Father General of the Somasca Order, Father Giovanni Ceriani and of S.E R. Cardinal Schuster, he began a Religious Family with a great spirit of charity, and with a great desire to care for the body and the salvation of the abandoned youth. Mater Orphanorum is a name attributed to the Blessed Mary and a title that contains a true program of life and love.

The "MIHI FECISTIS," which means, “YOU DID IT FOR ME” (Mt 25: 40). It is the evangelical passage of the broad charity with particular attention to the orphans and the abandoned youth, and towards all those in need. The figure of Father Rocco, gentle and decisive person, burning by a tender devotion to the Most Blessed Mary, derived from the teachings of Saint Luigi Grignon de Montfort, achieved with his Oblates, the Christian purpose of mitigating the difficulties of so many children and unfortunate people. Father Rocco and his Oblates also comfort the sick, assist the elderly and help the weak.


With trust in Mary, Mother of the Orphans, he landed in Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Cameroon, Angola and many other smaller places where he created shelters for children; showing the fruits of those who never lose hope, even in the saddest conditions.

He has always looked with the vivid intelligence of mind and heart, The priorities of the territory: abandoned and needy childhood in Central America and Colombia, orphaned and needy children, the sick and the dignity of women in Africa (Cameroon) i disadvantaged children (especially foreigners) and the elderly in Italy. The Oblates continue their works in the spirit of their Founder, with the same faith in God, in the Blessed Virgin and in devotion to St. Jerome Emiliani.


“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me”

(Matthew 25:40).

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