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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Ex Voto to St Cajetan

A Mexican Ex-Voto of St Cajetan, 1884

This ex-voto was painted at the request of Maria Angelica Maciel to show her devotion to St Cajetan. It was probably commissioned to thank the saint for a prayer answered and a miracle received. St Cajetan is shown wearing a large gold chain around his neck, which points to his aristocratic upbringing and title of "Count of Thiene". The cross which appears behind him which refers to the mystical crucifixion which he suffered on his death bed when his Theatine brothers wished to move him from the hard wood floor where he habitually slept, to a proper bed to make him more comfortable. However St Cajetan, resigned to the Will of God, happy to suffer in offering a last act of penance for himself and the world, and eager for death to attain the heavenly crown he so longed for, protested and said, "if hard wood is good enough for my Saviour to die on then it is good enough for me".

Vows or promises are often a very good way to seek the intercession of the Saints, they bind us to do good works and spread devotion and make us mindful of the graces received since as much as we ask, we must also thank. Also it is our weak human nature to always need props and approval before we fully trust in something, so the fact that someone has said publicly "This works, St Cajetan really helped me", means that others will be strengthened in their faith and approach their prayer more trustingly.

So as you hunt for your next job or pray for the continuation and success of your present one, consider making a vow to promise to thank St Cajetan for the grace you will receive. And remember to spread devotion to St Cajetan, so that others may gain hope and grace by means of this Holy and Miraculous Saint.

A New Mexican "Retablo" painting of St Cajetan
by Jose Rafael Aragon, 19th century

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