Saint of the Day – 7 August – St Cajetan (1480-1547) Confessor, Priest, Known as the “Father of Providence” and the “Huntsman of Souls” – Founder of the Theatine Order.
Saint Cajetan of Thienna, Confessor
From the Liturgical Year, 1901
Cajetan was born at Vicenza of the noble house of Thienna and was at once dedicated, by his mother, to the Virgin Mother of God.
His innocence appeared so wonderful from his very childhood that everyone called him “the Saint.” He took the degree of Doctor in Canon and Civil law at Padua and then went to Rome where Julius II. made him a Prelate. When he received the Priesthood, such a fire of Divine love was enkindled in his soul that he left the Court to devote himself entirely to God. He founded hospitals with his, own money and himself served the sick, even those attacked with pestilential maladies. He displayed such unflagging zeal, for the salvation of his neighbour that he earned the name of the “Huntesman of Souls.”
His great desire was to restore Ecclesiastical discipline, then much relaxed, to the form of the Apostolic life and to this end, he founded the Order of Regular Clerks. They lay aside all care of earthly things, possess no revenues, do not beg, even the necessaries of life from the faithful but live only on alms, spontaneously offered. Clement VII. having approved this institution, Cajetan made his solemn vows at the High Altar of the Vatican Basilica, together with John Peter Caraffa, Bishop of Chieti, who was afterwards Pope Paul IV and two other men of distinguished piety.
During the sack of Rome, Cajetan was most cruelly treated by the soldiers, to make him deliver up his money which the hands of the poor, had long ago carried into the heavenly treasures. He endured with the utmost patience stripes, torture and imprisonment. He persevered unfalteringly in the kind of life he had embraced, relying entirely upon Divine Providence and God never failed him, as was sometimes proved by miracles.
He was a great promoter of constant and deeply pious attention at the Divine worship, of the beauty of the House of God, of exactness in holy ceremonies and of the frequence of the most Holy Eucharist. More than once he detected and foiled, the wicked subterfuges of heresy. He would prolong his prayers for eight hours, without ceasing, to shed tears being often rapt in ecstasy and was renowned for the gift of prophecy. At Rome, one Christmas night, while he was praying at our Lord’s crib, the Mother of God was pleased to lay the Infant Jesus in his arms.
He would spend whole nights in chastising his body with disciplines, and could never be induced to relax anyof the austerity of his life, for he would say, he wished to die in sackcloth and ashes.
At length he fell into an illness caused by the intense sorrow he felt, at seeing the people offend God by heresy and sedition and, at Naples, after being refreshed by a heavenly vision, he passed to Heaven. His body is honoured with great devotion in the Church of St. Paul in that Town. As many miracles worked by him both while living and in death. made his name illustrious, Pope Clement X. enrolled him amongst the Saints.
MORE ABOUT ST CAJETAN:
About St Cajetan: