Cajetan was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1480, the son of a count. He graduated from the University of Padua with law degrees. Then he worked in the papal offices in Rome. Cajetan became a priest in 1516. He returned to his own city of Vicenza. Although it angered his rich relatives, the saint joined a group of humble, simple men who devoted themselves to helping the sick and the poor. St. Cajetan would go all over the city looking for unfortunate people and would serve them himself. He helped at the hospital by caring for people with the most disgusting diseases. In other cities, he did the same charitable work. He also kept encouraging everyone to go to Holy Communion often. "I shall never be happy," he said, "until I see Christians flocking to feed on the Bread of Life with eagerness and delight, not with fear and shame."
Together with three other holy men, St. Cajetan started an order of religious priests called "Theatines." This group devoted themselves to preaching. They encouraged frequent confession and Communion, helping the sick and other good works.
Cajetan died at the age of sixty-seven. In his last sickness, he lay on hard boards, even though the doctor advised him to have a mattress. "My Savior died on a cross," he said. "Let me at least die on wood." Cajetan passed away on August 7, 1547, in Naples. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Clement X in 1671.
"Even if all the saints and every single creature should abandon you, he will always be near you, whatever your need."-St. Cajetan