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Saint of the Day – 7 August – St Cajetan (1480-1547) Confessor

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:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/saint-of-the-day-7-august-st-cajetan-founder-of-the-theatine-order-the-father-of-providence/

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, PATRONAGE - BANKERS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 September – Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494

Saint of the Day – 28 September – Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494) Priest, Franciscan Friar, Missionary Preacher, Poet, peace-maker, Civil protestor against the practice of usury, defender of the poor. He was a true ‘child prodigy’ – by the time he was 12 he was fluent in Latin and at the age of 15 he composed a poem and read it in the Town Square to celebrate a local peace treaty. He is remembered most especially, in connection with the “Monti di Pietà” “Mount of Piety” of which he was the reorganiser and, in a certain sense, the Founder, together with the Blesseds Francisco Piani and Michele Carcano. Born as Martin Tomitani in 1439 at Feltre, Italy and died on 28 September 1494 of natural causes. Patronages – bankers, pawnbrokers. He is also sometimes known as Bernardino of Feltre or Martin Tomitani.

A “Mount of Piety” is an institutional pawnbroker run as a charity in Europe from Renaissance times until today. Similar institutions were established in the colonies of Catholic countries; the Mexican Nacional Monte de Piedad is still in operation. It gave poor people access to loans with reasonable interest rates. It used funds from charitable donors as capital and made loans to the poor so they could avoid going to exploitative lenders. Borrowers offered valuables as collateral, making the Mount of Piety more like a pawn shop than a bank. The Monte di Pietà was developed on the principle of charity. It was designed to aid less fortunate people by providing an alternative to the socially unaccepted Jewish money lending system.

Obligation of the Monte di Pietà della Citta di Firenze, issued 21 October 1719

Martin Tomitani was born to the noble family of Tomitano and was the eldest of nine children. He achieved acclaim in his studies and to please his father he proceeded to study law. In 1456, while a law student in Padua, he heard St James of the Marches preach the Lenten course and was inspired to enter the Franciscan order. St James of the Marches himself, gave him the name Bernardine, after St Bernardine of Siena.

In May that year he joined the “Observantine” Franciscans, an austere branch of the Franciscan friars. He completed successfully his studies at Mantua and was Ordained Priest in 1463. He was small, shy and stammered but his superiors assigned him to preach home-missions. Cured of an impediment in his speech, Bernardine began his apostolate up and down the Italian peninsula. Every city of note and every province from Lombardy in the north to Sardinia and the provinces of the south became successively the scene of his missionary labours.

He was an extremely popular preacher because he spoke simply and powerfully against the vanity, ambition and greed rife at the time. The crowds that flocked to hear him were too large for the local churches, so he addressed them in the city squares and the fields. Like many other missionaries of his century, he had made a vast outdoor bonfire called “burning the Devil’s stronghold.” The crowds were asked to throw into the fire all objects of vanity and sin such as playing cards, dice, pornographic books and pictures, jewelry, wigs, superstitious charms, cosmetics and so forth.

Bernardine was able to reconcile warring communities. He also sought civic legislation to correct public injustices such as usury, the charging of excessive interest for loans, which was especially onerous on the poor.

In 1484, Bernardine established the charitable credit organisation, “Monti di Pietà” “Mount of Piety,” run by a joint committee of clergy and laymen. The institution was founded as an alternative to the high interest loans of the money lenders and Lombard travelling bankers of the Middle Ages.

Monte di Pietà Offices in Rome

His fund raising drives were generally preceded with a procession featuring an image of either the Man of Sorrows or Pietà to encourage charitable donations. His insistence on charging a low interest to protect the institution’s permanency raised a controversy among the theologians who thought it promoted the continuance of usury. (In 1515, Pope Leo X declared the institution meritorious and it spread rapidly throughout France, Italy and Spain.)

Donatello (Italian, 1386–1466), “The Dead Christ Supported by Angels,” 1446–50. Bronze relief, 58 × 56 cm. Basilica di Sant’Antonio, Padua, Italy. Carved for the high altar. Includes two wings, not shown. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/467248530063361702/

In 1491, Bernardine was expelled from Milan by Ludovico Sforza for contesting with the Duke’s astrologer.

Bernardine is generally represented in iconography as carrying in his hand a Monti di Pietà, that is, a little green hill composed of three mounds and on the top either a cross or a standard with the inscription Curam illius habe ‘Take care of’ (a snippet from the Vulgate translation of the Gospel of Luke’s Parable of the Good Samaritan).

The authorship of the well-known Anima Christi has as often as not been ascribed to Bernardine of Feltre. The fact, however, that the Anima Christi was composed sometime before 1439 disproves any claim that he might have of being its author, though much like St Ignatius of Loyola, Bernardine made frequent use of it and recommended it to his brethren.

On  13 April 1654, Pope Innocent X confirmed the culktus of Blessed Bernardine and he was formally Beatified in 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PATRONAGE - ACCOUNTANTS, MONEY MANAGERS etc, PATRONAGE - BANKERS, PATRONAGE - TAX COLLECTORS, CUSTOMS OFFICERS, STOCK BROKERS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Saint of the Day – 21 September – Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

One day, as our Lord was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw, sitting at the receipt of custom, Matthew the publican, whose business it was to collect the taxes from the people for their Roman masters.   Jesus said to him, “Follow Me” and leaving all, Matthew arose and followed Him.st matthew anastpaul

Now the publicans were abhorred by the Jews as enemies of their country, outcasts and notorious sinners, who enriched themselves by extortion and fraud.   No Pharisee would sit with one at table.   Our Saviour alone had compassion for them.   So St Matthew made a great feast, to which he invited Jesus and His disciples, with a number of these publicans, who henceforth began eagerly to listen to Him.   It was then, in answer to the murmurs of the Pharisees, that He said, “They that are in health need not the physician.   I have not come to call the just, but sinners to penance.”

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The Calling of Matthew – James Tissot

After the Ascension, St Matthew remained some years in Judæa and there wrote his Gospel, to teach his countrymen that Jesus was their true Lord and King, foretold by the prophets.   St Matthew afterward preached the Faith far and wide and is said to have finished his course in Parthia.

Obey all inspirations of Our Lord as promptly as St Matthew, who, at a single word, “laid down,” says St Bridget, “the heavy burden of the world to put on the light and sweet yoke of Christ.”422px-Museo_di_orsanmichele,_lorenzo_ghiberti,_san_matteo_04

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PATRONAGE - ACCOUNTANTS, MONEY MANAGERS etc, PATRONAGE - BANKERS, PATRONAGE - TAX COLLECTORS, CUSTOMS OFFICERS, STOCK BROKERS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Saint of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew – Apostle and Evangelist

Saint of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew – Apostle and Evangelist

One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words:   “Follow me.”   This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ.   His original name, “Levi,” in Hebrew signifies “Adhesion” while his new name in Christ, Matthew, means “Gift of God.”   The only other outstanding mention of Matthew in the Gospels is the dinner party for Christ and His companions to which he invited his fellow tax-collectors.   The Jews were surprised to see Jesus with a publican but Jesus explained that he had come “not to call the just but sinners.”

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Caravaggio – The Calling of Saint Matthew

Although relatively little is known about the life of St Matthew, the account he wrote of Christ’s ministry – traditionally considered to be the first of the four Gospels – is of inestimable value to the Church, particularly in its verification of Jesus as the Messiah.matthew glass 3

The Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke, like Matthew’s own, describe the encounter between Jesus and Matthew under the surprising circumstances of Matthew’s tax-collecting duties.   Jewish publicans, who collected taxes on behalf of the Roman rulers of first-century Judea, were objects of scorn and even hatred among their own communities, since they worked on behalf of the occupying power and often earned their living by collecting more than the state’s due.Stained Glass Window depicting Saint Matthew

Jesus most likely first encountered Matthew near the house of Peter, in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee.   The meeting of the two was dramatic, as Matthew’s third-person account in his Gospel captured:  “As Jesus passed on,” the ninth chapter recounts, “he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.   He said to him, ‘Follow me’.   And he got up and followed him.”

Matthew’s calling into Jesus’ inner circle was a dramatic gesture of the Messiah’s universal message and mission, causing some religious authorities of the Jewish community to wonder:  “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus’ significant response indicated a central purpose of his ministry:   “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”matthew glass 2

A witness to Christ’s resurrection after death, as well as his ascension into heaven and the events of Pentecost, Matthew also recorded Jesus’ instruction for the apostles to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Like 11 of the 12 apostles, St Matthew is traditionally thought to have died as a martyr while preaching the Gospel.   The Roman Martyrology describes his death as occurring in a territory near present-day Egypt.the twelve - infomatthew glass

Both the saint himself and his Gospel narrative, have inspired important works of religious art, ranging from the ornate illuminated pages of the Book of Kells in the ninth century, to the Saint Matthew Passion of J.S. Bach.   Three famous paintings of Caravaggio depicting St Matthew’s calling, inspiration and martyrdom, hang within the Contarelli Chapel in Rome’s Church of St Louis of the French.matthew lgass 3 wp sz

Reflecting on St Matthew’s calling, from the pursuit of dishonest financial gain to the heights of holiness and divine inspiration, Pope Benedict said in 2006 that “in the figure of Matthew, the Gospels present to us a true and proper paradox:  those who seem to be the farthest from holiness can even become a model of the acceptance of God’s mercy and offer a glimpse of its marvellous effects in their own lives.”the twelve - symbols

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St Matthew Statue at St John Lateran – detail of face

Posted in PATRONAGE - ACCOUNTANTS, MONEY MANAGERS etc, PATRONAGE - BANKERS, PATRONAGE - TAX COLLECTORS, CUSTOMS OFFICERS, STOCK BROKERS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Saint of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Saint of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Martyr (born Levi) – Patronages – accountant, bookkeepers, bankers, customs officers, financial officers, money managers, guards, security forces, security guards, stock brokers, tax collectors, Diocese of Trier, Germany, Archdiocese of Washington,  5 cities.

Calling-of-Saint-Matthew-HEADER BEAUTIFUL(1)

Saint Matthew, the first-century tax collector turned apostle who chronicled the life and ministry of Christ in his Gospel, is celebrated by the Church today, September 21. Although relatively little is known about the life of St Matthew, the account he wrote of Christ’s ministry – his Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke and was written to convince the Jews that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus.

The Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke, like Matthew’s own, describe the encounter between Jesus and Matthew under the surprising circumstances of Matthew’s tax-collecting duties.   Jewish publicans, who collected taxes on behalf of the Roman rulers of first-century Judea, were objects of scorn and even hatred among their own communities, since they worked on behalf of the occupying power and often earned their living by collecting more than the state’s due.

17-terbrugghen-h-the-calling-of-st-matthewCALLING OF ST MATTHEW

Jesus most likely first encountered Matthew near the house of Peter, in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee.   The meeting of the two was dramatic, as Matthew’s third-person account in his Gospel captured:  “As Jesus passed on,” the ninth chapter recounts, “he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me’. And he got up and followed him.”

Matthew’s calling into Jesus’ inner circle was a dramatic gesture of the Messiah’s universal message and mission, causing some religious authorities of the Jewish community to wonder:  “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus’ significant response indicated a central purpose of his ministry:  “I did not come to call the just but sinners.”

A witness to Christ’s resurrection after death, as well as his ascension into heaven and the events of Pentecost, Matthew also recorded Jesus’ instruction for the apostles to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Like 11 of the 12 apostles, St. Matthew is traditionally thought to have died as a martyr while preaching the Gospel.   The Roman Martyrology describes his death as occurring in a territory near present-day Egypt.

Both the saint himself and his Gospel narrative, have inspired important works of religious art, ranging from the ornate illuminated pages of the Book of Kells in the ninth century, to the St Matthew Passion of J.S. Bach.   Three famous paintings of Caravaggio, depicting St. Matthew’s calling, inspiration and martyrdom, hang within the Contarelli Chapel in Rome’s Church of St Louis of the French.Contarelli Chapel in Rome's Church of St Louis of the French.caravaggio (1)

Reflecting on St.Matthew’s calling, from the pursuit of dishonest financial gain to the heights of holiness and divine inspiration, Pope Benedict said in 2006 that “in the figure of Matthew, the Gospels present to us a true and proper paradox:  those who seem to be the farthest from holiness can even become a model of the acceptance of God’s mercy and offer a glimpse of its marvelous effects in their own lives.”

Posted in PATRONAGE - BANKERS, PATRONAGE - NAPLES, PATRONAGE - UNEMPLOYED, PATRONAGE - WORKERS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 August – St Cajetan – Confessor, Founder of the Theatine Order – the “Father of Providence”

Saint of the Day – 7 August – St Cajetan – Founder of the Theatine Order – Priest, Confessor, Reformer, Doctor of Civil and Canon Law, Diplomat, Mystic, Miracle Worker, Apostle of the sick and the poor.   Known as the “Father of Providence” and the “Huntsman of Souls” – (Born in October 1480 at Vicenza, Italy as Gaetano dei Conti di Tiene -and died in1547 at Naples, Italy of natural causes) – Beatified on 8 October 1629 by Pope Urban VIII and Canonised on 12 April 1671 by Pope Clement X. Patronages –  bankers, gamblers;,unemployed, workers, document controllers, job seekers, Albania, Naples and Italy, Ħamrun (Malta), Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala.

St Cajetan Thiene-FounderSaint-updtl
Cajetan und Luther photo by Francesco de_ Rossi
Cajetan and Luther| by Francesco de’ Rossi

St Cajetan was born of a noble family in Vicenza, Italy. He was the youngest of three sons born to Don Gaspar di Thiene and Dona Maria di Porto.

He studied civil and Canon Law at the University of Padua and moved to Rome where he worked in the Court of Julian II.   He assisted at the fifth Council of the Lateran.   He was ordained a priest and became part of the “company of Divine Love.”   In 1518 he returned to Vicenza.   After the death of his mother, he dedicated himself to the founding and directing of hospitals to treat the syphiletics in Vicenza, Verona and Venice.  With his own hands he cared for the sick.   Such zeal did he show for the salvation of his fellowmen that he was surnamed the “huntsman for souls.”

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St Cajetan, after the painting by Francesco Solimena, published in 1700 by Paolo Petrini.
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In 1524, with Juan Pedro Carrafa, Bishop of Chieti, he founded the Clerics Regular who later would be called the Theatines.   One of the four men who joined him in his new order, Juan Pedro mentioned above, went on to become the pope (Pope Paul IV).  The Theatines, as they were later to become, were to be a community of priests who were to lead an apostolic life.   They were to look with disdain all earthly belongings, to accept no salaries from the faithful;  only from that which was freely donated were they allowed to retain the means of livelihood.   St Cajetan was tortured during the plunder of Rome in 1527 (the torturers hoping to obtain his inheritance which had long before been spent on the poor and sick), Cajetan later returned to Venice where for three years he directed the Religious Institute he had founded.   In 1533, where he established a centre for opposing the spread of Lutheranism in Naples.   He eventually extended that mission to the city of Verona where he would die fourteen years later in 1547.   It was in this city that he planted the yeast of reform that made him worthy of the devotion with which the Neopolitans have always awarded him.   He founded a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to usurers (loan sharks).   It 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.    Later in his life, Saint Cajetan would introduce the Forty Hours’ Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as an antidote to the heresy of Calvin.   In 1629, Urban VIII authorised public worship to Cajetan and on April 12, 1671, Clement X inscribed him in the catalogue of Saints.

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st cajetan LARGE

St Cajetan often prayed eight hours daily.   On Christmas Eve at the Church of Saint Mary Major he was greeted with his first vision of Our Blessed mother.   When he entered the church he saw the Mary, radiant with light, who came to him and placed Her divine Infant in his arms.   These are the words he used to describe his vision: “….I boldly found myself, at the time of the Holy Nativity, in this crib; to give me courage I had with me Saint Jerome my father, who had the crib so close to his heart and whose remains were placed at the entrance of the same crib;  and with a little bit of encouragement from the old man (St. Joseph), from the hands of the Virgin Mary, I took into my arms that little Baby:  the Eternal Word Who became flesh.   My heart was really hard, you must believe me, because if it were not as hard as a diamond, it was sure to liquefy at that moment… patience…”  

St Cajetan is the “Heart” of the Catholic reformation, the founder of the Clerics Regular (Theatines) and the “Great Man and Great Saint” that Christians acclaim as “The Father of Providence” for he aids those who invoke him in their needs with great miracles. 

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Founder Statue at St Peters Rome

Prayer of Saint Cajetan before a Crucifix

Look down, O Lord, from Your sanctuary, from Your dwelling in heaven on high and behold this sacred Victim which our great High Priest, Your Holy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, offers up to You for the sins of His brethren and be appeased despite the multitude of our sins.   Behold, the voice of the Blood of Jesus, our Brother, cries to You from the cross.   Listen, O Lord.   Be appeased, O Lord.   Hearken and do not delay for Your own sake, O my God;  for Your Name is invoked upon this city and upon Your people and deal with us according to Your mercy. Amen.

St Cajetan “Father of Providence” Pray for us!