Lived: (1480-1547) | Feast Day: Sunday, August 7, 2016
Like most of us, Cajetan ( also known as Saint Gaetano, 1480-1547) seemed headed for an “ordinary” life—first as a lawyer, then as a priest engaged in the work of the Roman Curia.
His life took a characteristic turn when he joined the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome, a group devoted to piety and charity, shortly after his ordination at 36. When he was 42 he founded a hospital for incurables at Venice. At Vicenza, he joined a “disreputable” religious community that consisted only of men of the lowest stations of life—and was roundly censured by his friends, who thought his action was a reflection on his family. He sought out the sick and poor of the town and served them.
The greatest need of the time was the reformation of a Church that was “sick in head and members.” Cajetan and three friends decided that the best road to reformation lay in reviving the spirit and zeal of the clergy. (One of them later became Paul IV.) Together they founded a congregation known as the Theatines (from Teate [Chieti] where their first superior-bishop had his see). They managed to escape to Venice after their house in Rome was wrecked when Emperor Charles V’s troops sacked Rome in 1527. The Theatines were outstanding among the Catholic reform movements that took shape before the Protestant Reformation. He founded a monte de pieta (“mountain [or fund] of piety”) in Naples—one of many charitable, nonprofit credit organizations that lent money on the security of pawned objects. The purpose was to help the poor and protect them against usurers. Cajetan’s little organization ultimately became the Bank of Naples, with great changes in policy.
If Vatican II had been summarily stopped after its first session in 1962, many Catholics would have felt that a great blow had been dealt to the growth of the Church. Cajetan had the same feeling about the Council of Trent (1545-63). But, as he said, God is the same in Naples as in Venice, with or without Trent or Vatican II. We open ourselves to God’s power in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, and God’s will is done. God’s standards of success differ from ours.
“I know too well, o Lord, that I am not worthy to be admitted among the consortium of these earthly angels [his way of viewing the priesthood], I wish even so to merit it. You can see my burning desire to bind myself to you forever with priestly promises. Why therefore do you not console me, my dearest goodness? Anyway, my desire is not to want my way but your way. Accept at least these my heart’s desires which in front of you become so real even when they cannot become a reality for me.”
“I am a sinner and do not think much of myself; I have recourse to the greatest servants of the Lord, that they may pray for you to the blessed Christ and his Mother. But do not forget that all the saints cannot endear you to Christ as much as you can yourself. It is entirely up to you. If you want Christ to love you and help you, you must love Him and always make an effort to please Him. Do not waver in your purpose, because even if all the saints and every single creature should abandon you, He will always be near you, whatever your needs.”
A second Life :A Year of Prayer 365 Rosaries -Saint Cajetan of Thiene
- Quotes – a year of prayer: 365 Rosaries: August 7: Saint Cajetan of Thiene, “Huntsman for Souls”. 2016. a year of prayer: 365 Rosaries: August 7: Saint Cajetan of Thiene, “Huntsman for Souls”. [ONLINE] Available at:http://365rosaries.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/august-7-saint-cajetan-of-thiene.html. [Accessed 07 August 2016].
- Image- By Francesco Solimena, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=593044