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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Prayer to St Cajetan

Glorious Saint Cajetan, acclaimed by
all people to be the father of providence
because you provide miraculous aid to
all in need, I stand here before you today,
asking that you present to the Lord our God
the requests that I confidently deposit
in your hands today.
May these graces that I now request
help me to always seek the Kingdom
of God and his Righteousness,
knowing that God — who dresses with
beauty the flowers of the field and
abundantly feeds the birds of the
sky — will give me all other
things. Amen.

St Cajetan, the Saint of Divine Providence

Francesco di Solimena
"San Gaetano di Thiene"
S Paulo Maggiore, Naples

St Cajetan was born at Vicenza, then part of the Republic of Venice. Cajetan's parents were Gaspar, Count of Thiene, and Maria Porto.
Predisposed to piety by his mother, he studied law in Padua, receiving his degree as Doctor Utriusque Juris(i.e., in civil and canon law) at age 24. In 1506 he worked as a diplomat for Pope Julius II with whom he helped reconcile the Venetian Republic. But he was not ordained a Priest until the year 1516.
Recalled to Vicenza in the following year by the death of his mother, he founded a hospital for incurables there. His interests were as much or more devoted to spiritual healing than the physical kind. He intended to form a group that would combine the spirit of monasticism with the exercises of the active ministry. The death of Pope Adrian VI in 1523 led him to withdraw from the Papal Court, founding an order based on these ideals, "the Oratory Of Divine Love."
This new congregation was canonically erected by Pope Clement VII in the year 1524. One of his four companions was Giovanni Pietro Carafa, the Bishop of Chieti, elected first superior of the order, who later became Pope as Paul IV. From the name of the city of Chieti (in Latin: Theate), arose the name by which the order is known, the "Theatines". The order grew at a fairly slow pace: there were only twelve Theatines during the Sack of Rome in 1527. During this time St Cajetan was caught by the anti-catholic forces and scourged in order to make him confess the whereabouts of his riches which they mistakenly presumed him to have, naturally he could give them nothing so suffered their lashes whilst having constantly in mind the text of Luke 12:32-34:
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

 After this barbarous treatment Cajetan fled to Venice where he met St Jerome Emiliani, whom he assisted in the establishment of his Congregation of Clerks Regular. In 1533 he founded a house in Naples which aided those who wished to check the advances of Lutheranism.
In 1540 he was again at Venice, from whence he extended his work to Verona and Vicenza. He passed the last four years of his life, a sort of seraphic existence, at Naples where he died finally of grief at the discords of the city, suffering in his last moments a kind of mystical crucifixion. It is related that as he lay dying on the wooden floor, some of his brothers tried to move him to a bed but he protested saying "My Saviour died upon hard wood, so this is enough for me also".
He was beatified by Urban VIII in 1629, and canonised by Clement X in 1671. His feast is kept on the 7th of August.
He is known as the Patron Saint of the unemployed and job seekers because founded a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to usurers (loan sharks), which later became the Bank of Naples. His concern for the unemployed, giving them the necessary financial help in their time of need, made him their patron.