Saint Cajetan was also known as Gaetano dei Conti di Thiene. He was a Catholic priest and co-founder of the Theatines. He was born on October 6 1480 in Vicenza, Veneto, Venice, Italy and died on August 7 1547 in Naples, Campania, the Kingdom of Sicily at the age of 66 years. His feast day is celebrated on August 7 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Cajetan, Priest Biography|
|Date of Birth||October 6 1480|
|Place of Birth||Vicenza, Veneto, Venice, Italy|
|Matrimony/Holy Orders||Saints who were Priests|
|Profession||Catholic priest and co-founder of the Theatines|
|Place of Work||Italy|
|Date of Death||August 7 1547|
|Place of Death||Naples, Campania, Kingdom of Sicily, Italy|
|Feast Day||August 7|
|Beatification||Beatified by Pope Urban VIII on October 8 1629|
|Canonization||Canonized by Pope Clement X on April 12 1671|
|Patron Saint of||
Saint Cajetan, Priest Life History
Saint Cajetan’s father was called Gaspar and was the lord of Thiene. His mother was called Mary Porta. When Cajetan was two years old, his father died and his mother raised him up, and his two brothers in a pious way.
Cajetan pursued the legal profession in the University of Padua and graduated, at the age of 24, with a doctorate degree in civil and canon law. He worked for Pope Julius II as a diplomat from 1506 until 1513 when the pope died. During his tenure as a diplomat, he greatly helped during the reconciliation of Venice. After the pope died, he stopped working as a diplomat and studied for the priesthood. In 1516 he was ordained as a priest at the advanced age of 36.
After his mother died, Cajetan went back home and in 1522, he founded in his home area a hospital for the incurables and in 1523 another one in Venice. Apart from the physical healing, Cajetan was more concerned with spiritual healing. He thereafter joined a movement called ‘Oratory of Divine Love’ in Rome.
St Cajetan had the desire to form a congregation. In 1524, Pope Clement VII allowed the formation of the Theatines. The name Theatines emanates from the name of the City of Chieti, in Latin – Theate where Giovanni Pietro Carafa was a bishop. The Bishop of Chieti, Giovanni Pietro Carafa, who later became Pope Paul IV, was one of St Cajetan’s founding companions and became the first superior of the order.
As the order grew gradually, in 1527, the Spanish soldiers belonging to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V mutinied, ransacked Cajetan’s house, tortured him looking for treasures. Thereafter, Cajetan and his companions fled to Venice. The soldiers hoped that Cajetan had many treasures amassed from his previous life as a diplomat and was hiding them in his house.
In Venice, Cajetan met Jerome Emiliani and helped him to establish his own congregation called Congregation of Clerks Regular.
Cajetan continued with his passion and in 1533, he founded a house in Naples and in 1540 he founded another one in Verona. He also established a bank for the poor which later became the Bank of Naples (Banco di Napoli).
In 1691, Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit missionary honored of St Cajetan by establishing the mission San Cayetano de Tumacácori. In the modern world, it is known as Tumacacori National Historical Park in Arizona.
St Cajetan, just like St Francis of Assisi, gave up his wealth and comfort and dedicated his life to the poor, job seekers, and the unemployed. With his own money, he established a bank so as to shield the poor from over-exploitation by the shylocks. He also founded hospitals to take care of the incurables. He chose to lead a life of Christian piety.
A miracle is attributed to St Cajetan when, in 1656, his intercession was invoked when the deadly plague struck Naples hard. During the plague around 600-700 people were dying daily of the plague but when the city’s faithful celebrated his feast day, as a blessed, that day no one died and the plague went away.
The Theatines, still serve God across the world today and some of them can be found as parish priests in Colorado, United States.
St Cajetan Birth
He was born on October 6 1480 in Vicenza, Veneto, Venice, Italy. His father was called Gaspar and was the lord of Thiene. His mother was called Mary Porta
St Cajetan Death
Cajetan was very grieved by the challenges he saw in his Church. He was receiving opposition from fellow clergy who were against his quest to reform the Catholic Church. When he eventually fell ill, doctors tried to persuade him to sleep on a softer and comfortable bed but he insisted on sleeping on the hard wood. Cajetan remarked that, “My savior died on a cross. Let me died on wood at least.”
Cajetan died on August 7 1547 in Naples Italy. His remains are preserved in Naples, in the San Paolo Maggiore Basilica
Cajetan was beatified by Pope Urban VIII on October 8 1629.
Cajetan was canonized by Pope Clement X on April 12 1671.
Saint Cajetan’s Feast Day
His feast day is celebrated on August 7 every year in the Catholic Church.
Saint Cajetan is the Patron Saint of
- The unemployed
- Labo, Camarines Norte, Philippines
- Job seekers
- Hamrun (Malta)
- Good fortune.
- El Salvador
- Document controllers
Prayer to St Cajetan
when we see things that trouble us in our Church,
help us to continue to love her.
Guide us to the positive steps we need
to work within the Church for renewal.
Help us to be examples of holiness to all. AMEN!
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