The benefactor, Aga Samuel Mookartish Moorat, was an eminent diamond trader operating in Madras. He married Anna Raphael, the daughter of a prominent Armenian merchant, Edward Raphael, from the same town, thus merging the two most important Armenian families in India. Edward was an illuminated man and had been in contact with the Mekhitarist monks since the final decades of the XVIII century. Both men dreamed of providing a strong impetus to the development of education among the young Armenians in the historic Armenian lands and the Armenian Diaspora. The presence of Mekhitarist monks in Madras as experienced educators, had been crucial for the opening of the later renowned Moorat and Raphael Schools in Padua and Venice. Samuel Moorat, who also inherited the wealth of Edward Raphael, left a large bequest of 6 mln rupees to this order for the purpose of opening and operating schools, giving Armenian youth a strong European education. Samuel Moorat died in 1816, but a protracted lawsuit followed before his sons Edward and Johannes paid up the sum to the Order which established the first college in Padua in Italy in 1834, then moved it to Paris in 1846. In 1836 the second school bearing the name of Edward Raphael was opened in Venice in the spectacular Pesaro Palace. It was this second college that was transferred to the Zenobio Palace in 1851, mainly for it’s magnificent garden and courtyard. Since it’s foundation, the Raphaelian School has benefited from its prime location and for being near the main monastery of the Mekhitarist Order. Many of its distinguished scholars have instructed at the college or were its prominent directors, contributing to its elite status as a school for the talented Armenian youth in the heart of Europe.