St. Cajetan


Feast Day - August 7

Cajetan was born at Vicenza of the noble family of Thiene, and was at once dedicated by his mother to the Virgin Mother of God. He won his degree in civil and canon law at Padua and went to Rome, where he was appointed a prelate by Julius II and later ordained to the priesthood. He founded hospitals with his own money, and with his own hands served the sick, even those stricken with contagious diseases. He worked so zealously for the salvation of others that he came to be called “Hunter of souls.”

The discipline of the clergy had fallen to a low state; with the aim of restoring it after the pattern of the apostolic life, Cajetan founded the Order of Clerks Regular. They were to give up all involvement in worldly affairs; they were not to possess any revenues or to beg for their subsistence from the faithful, but to live only on alms spontaneously offered.

And so, with the approval of Clement VII, Cajetan took solemn vows at the high altar of the Vatican basilica, together with John Peter Caraffa, bishop of Chieti and afterwards Paul IV, and two other men of outstandingly holy lives. The chief causes promoted by Cajetan were: zeal for the divine worship; the beauty of God’s house; observance of the sacred rites; more frequent reception of the Most Holy Eucharist. Full of merits, he went to his heavenly reward at Naples, and there his body is highly venerated in the church of St. Paul.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1402-1403