Jerome enlisted in the Venetian army in 1511. He was captured and chained in a dungeon, but promised himself to God if released. That he later was able to walk out of his prison was considered miraculous. He was ordained in 1518. When the plague struck, he cared for the sick and opened an orphanage. In 1532, he and two fellow priests formed the Clerks Regular Somaschi, now known as the Somascan Fathers. Jerome was declared the patron saint of orphaned and abandoned children in 1928.