In the Sixteenth Century God raised up a number of saints who by prayer, teaching and good works combated the influence of the pagan Renaissance. Among these was St. Jerome Emiliani, who spent himself in the care of orphans and the poor. He instituted homes for orphan children, and founded the Congregation whose object was to educate orphans.
They are called the Somaschi, from Somascha, the little Italian town in which they were first established. He died on February 8, 1537, from the plague which he contracted while burying the dead.
It was related that St. Charles Borromeo, when going several years afterwards to make a pastoral visitation at Somascha, became aware of the presence of the relics of a saint through the sweet perfume which emanated from his tomb. Asking for a thurible, St. Charles offered incense on the sepulcher, being thus the first to render public veneration to the saint.
(Source: The New Roman Missal, Rev. F. X. Lasance)