Aurelio E. Peterlin (1901-82) was admitted Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Thorns in 1947 and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion and the Black Cross in 1948.
He was Professor of Italian Language and Literature at the Scholastic Institute Battisti of Trieste, the city of his birth. In addition to his university teaching, he became Specialist of the Corporation of Advisers and Experts of Labour, functionary of the Free Trade Unions of Trieste, and Administrative Secretary of the Syndicate of Writers and Authors of Trieste. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Commerce, Birmingham, UK.
Peterlin was founder and president of the Columbus Association in Trieste, which was affiliated to the association of the same name in the United States. This was formed in 1948 at the encouragement of the Allied military government and stood for the freedom of speech and religion as well as freedom from want, war and fear. As a charitable and cultural organisation it continued in operation until his death in 1982 and was recognized by UNESCO.
Peterlin received numerous honours for his work including the Papal Lateran Cross from the Holy See. He was Honorary Mayor of the City of Bellefontaine, Ohio, and an Honorary Citizen of New Orleans, Miami Beach and several other cities. A Roman Catholic, he was a Minister of the Third Order of St Francis of Assisi.
He was married to Luigia Kainer Peterlin (b. 1911) who was active in work for welfare and humanitarian assistance. She was admitted to the Order of the Crown of Thorns in 1951 or 1952. She served as a Vice-Minister of the Third Order of St Francis of Assisi.