Saint Cajetan

detail of a statue of Saint Cayetano, date unknown, artist unknown; Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, Argentina; photographed on 9 March 2013 by Barcex; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Cajetan the Theatine
  • Cajetan of Thiene
  • Cayetano
  • Gaetano
  • Gaetanus
  • Gaetano dei Conti di Tiene
  • Gaetano da Thiene



Born to the Venetian nobility. Caytanao studied law in Padua, and was offered governing posts, but turned them down for a religious vocation. Ordained at age 36. In 1522, Cajetan founded a hospital in Venice, Italy for victims of incurable illness. Cajetan was aware of the need of reformation in the Church, and felt called to enter a religious community to serve the sick and poor. On 3 May 1524, with three others, including John Peter Caraffa who later became Pope Paul IV, he formed the Congregation of Clerks Regular (Theatines) at Rome, Italy with the mission of fostering the Church‘s mission and reviving the spirit and zeal of the clergy. Founded a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to usurers (loan sharks); it later became the Bank of Naples. Known for a gentle game he played with parishioners where he would bet prayers, rosaries or devotional candles on whether he would perform some service for them; he always did, and they always had to “pay” by saying the prayers.







MLA Citation

  • “Saint Cajetan“. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 April 2017. Web. 23 July 2017. <>