Saint of the Day for 07 August: St Gaetano Thiene
Church reformer, founder of the Clerics Regular and pioneer of Divine Providence
01 October 1480
07 August 1547
08 October 1629, Rome, Pope Urban VIII
12 April 1671, Rome, Pope Clement X
O glorious Saint Gaetano, You who, thinking of the sins of the world, felt so much pain from them that you died of them, deh! impart to me from the Lord the pain of my sins and the grace of never falling into them again. And since you are called the Holy One of Providence, the Treasurer of graces, the Comforter of all afflicted, provide for me, assist me and console me in all my needs. But above all, defend me from sin, so that by always living in divine friendship, I may one day come to enjoy with you in heaven. I ask this of you out of love for Jesus and Mary.
Napoli, Ponzano Veneto, Trezzo sull’Adda, Lizzano, Poggio Mirteto, Montemiletto, Ariano nel Polesine, Campo nell’Elba, Portopalo di Capo Passero, Serrastretta
St Gaetano da Thiene, a priest, dedicated himself to pious works of charity in Naples, particularly working for the incurably ill, promoted associations for the religious training of the laity and instituted the Clerics Regular for the renewal of the Church, entrusting his disciples with the duty of observing the ancient way of life of the Apostles.
The Saint and Mission
Saint Gaetano Thiene is a saint known for his deep spirituality and his commitment to the renewal of the Church. His life and mission are an extraordinary example of dedication to the service of God and neighbour.
Saint Gaetano dedicated himself to the reform of the clergy, promoting a life of prayer, humility and sincere charity. His mission was not just an external reform, but a spiritual renewal aimed at rekindling love and devotion to Christ in the hearts of priests and lay people.
St Gaetano is also remembered for his concern for the poor and needy. He worked tirelessly to provide assistance and comfort to those marginalised by society, displaying a deep sense of empathy and compassion.
His devotion to Divine Providence was at the core of his spirituality. He had an unconditional trust in God’s guidance and protection, which was reflected in his mission. He taught that total surrender to God’s will was the key to a life of fruitful service and holiness.
In short, St Gaetano Thiene’s mission was a complex blend of ecclesiastical reform, love for the poor, and a profound trust in Divine Providence. His life continues to be an inspiring model for the Church today, reminding us that true mission begins with a humble and devoted heart that seeks to live and serve according to God’s will.
The Saint and Mercy
Saint Gaetano Thiene is an emblematic figure of Christian mercy. His life and ministry are pervaded by a deep love for Christ and a tireless dedication to the needy.
St Gaetano dedicated his life to the reform of the Church and the service of the poor. His mercy was not just a word, but a concrete action. He took the Gospel commandment to love one’s neighbour seriously, and demonstrated this with acts of charity and compassion.
His concern for the sick, orphans and the marginalised led him to establish hospitals and other charitable institutions. His vision of mercy was not limited to material assistance; it also included spiritual care and personal attention to each individual. St Gaetano saw in the face of the poor the face of Christ, and served others with a deep humility and respect.
But St Gaetano’s mercy was not only directed towards others; it was also a characteristic of his personal spirituality. He had a deep trust in God’s mercy and taught others to rely completely on His Providence. His faith in God’s goodness and compassion was the source of his own mercy towards others.
In summary, Saint Gaetano Thiene is an extraordinary example of how mercy can permeate every aspect of Christian life. His dedication to the needy and his profound trust in God’s mercy remind us that being merciful means not only showing compassion, but also living with a radical trust in God’s love and goodness. His life continues to be an inspiring model of mercy incarnate, a call to live Christ’s love in word and deed.
The Order of the Clerics Regular (or Theatines)
The Order of Clerics Regular, also known as the Theatine Order, was founded in 1524 by Saint Gaetano Thiene, together with Paolo Consiglieri, Giovanni Pietro Carafa (later Pope Paul IV) and Bonifacio de Colle. The foundation of this order marked a significant moment in the history of the Church, as it represented a movement of reform and renewal within the Catholic clergy.
The Theatine Order focused on the internal reform of the Church, promoting a life of prayer, poverty, and obedience. Members of the order were called to live exemplary lives of holiness and dedication, serving the Church through priestly ministry and pastoral care.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Theatine Order was its concern for the needy, particularly the sick and marginalised. Their mission included practical and spiritual assistance to those who were often neglected by society, embodying an authentic spirit of mercy and compassion.
The Theatine spirituality also emphasised a deep trust in Divine Providence, teaching that total abandonment to God’s will was the foundation of an authentic Christian life. This commitment to trust in God and humility was at the core of their community life and ministry.
The Order of Clerics Regular had a lasting impact on the Church, contributing to a spiritual and moral renewal that also influenced other reform movements. Their legacy continues to inspire today, calling Christians to a life of sincere prayer, loving service and total trust in God’s guidance.
Gaetano was born in Vicenza in the year 1480 of pious parents. His mother, Maria Porta, consecrated him to the Blessed Virgin from the first moments of his life. Virgin, and when he was older, she gave him a sound religious instruction.
Following the example of the adolescent Jesus, Gaetano, while growing in spirit, also made great progress in his studies. Sent to study at Padua, he distinguished himself especially in theology and….