Our Lady of Purity, painting by Luis de Morales, at the Chapel in the Basilica Sant'Andrea della Valle of the Theatines in Rome.
Statue of St. Cajetan, at the St. Peter Basilica, in Rome
Base - Carlo Monaldi Romano, 1738
Pedestal - S. CAJETANUS / AD ARAM MAXIMAM
We are a Religious Order, essentially priestly and apostolic in all its extension.
Our Founder Saint Cajetan was a man who gave himself entirely to the service of God and his brethren, founding the Order on the 14th of September 1524 in Rome.
Our duty is to be light and example of priestly life. Any mission, occupation, or priestly ministry is our mission as well. Charity is what drives all of our actions.
Our motto: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well. (Mt. 6, 33)
Our distinguished Brothers:
- Pope Paul IV, one of the founders alongside Saint Cajetan.
- Saint Andrew Avellino, lawyer against sudden or unexpected death.
- Saint Joseph Maria Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa and a scholar of Liturgy.
- Lorenzo Escupoli, author of the famous religious book titled “The Spiritual Combat”.
- Joaquín Ventura de Raulica, famous philosopher and preacher in Paris.
- Guarino Guarini, illustrious architect and distinguished mathematician of the 17th century.
…. and a countless number of bishops that would lead to the order being called a seedbed of bishops.
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.
In 1524, with Juan Pedro Carrafa, Bishop of Chieti, he founded the Clerics Regular who later would be called the Theatines. Tortured during the plunder of Rome in 1527, Cajetan later returned to Venice where for three years he directed the Religious Institute he had founded. In 1533, he transferred to Naples 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. In 1629, Urban VIII authorized public worship to Cajetan, and on April 12, 1671, Clement X inscribed him in the catalogue of Saints.
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.