Feast Day: August 7
Born: 1480 :: Died: 1547
St. Cajetan was born in Vicenza in Italy, and his father was a rich Count. He studied Law at the University of Padua and became a Lawyer. He was a good Lawyer and got a job in the offices of the Pope in Rome.
Cajetan later decided he wanted to be a priest. After he became a priest he returned to his own city of Vicenza. All his rich relatives were angry with him for becoming a priest. This did not stop St, Cajetan from joining a group of humble, simple men who devoted themselves to helping the sick and the poor.
St. Cajetan went 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 encouraged 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." These priests devoted themselves to preaching the Gospel message to the people. They encouraged the people to go often for confession and to receive Communion. They also helped the sick and did lots of other good works.
St. Cajetan died at the age of sixty-seven on August 7, 1547, in Naples. Although he was very sick before he died, he lay on hard wooden boards, even though the doctor advised him to sleep on a mattress.
"My Savior died on a cross," he said. "Let me at least die on wood."
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