Saint Cajetan (1480-1547)

for August 7

Saint Cajetan began his adult life by first becoming a lawyer and then turning to the priesthood. He was ordained at 36, and at the age of 42 established a hospital in Venice, Italy, for those suffering from incurable ailments. Cajetan felt called to minister to the sick and the poor in his town, and did so by joining the Oratory of Divine Love. Saint Cajetan believed that the Church was in great need of reformation. Rather than break away from the Church, he felt that the most effective solution was to recover the spirit and fervor of the clergy. He formed a congregation called the Theatones, whose goal it was to bring about this zeal. Cajetan worked to assist the poor in a unique way--by opening a nonprofit bank that lent money to those who were down on their luck, without using the harmful tactics of usurers. Saint Cajetan died on this date in 1547. He was canonized in 1671, and is the patron saint of job-seekers and unemployed people.

Read more about Saint Cajetan (1480-1547)

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Jesus taught that people will know his followers by the way they treat others. Saints throughout the ages have believed that the most effective tool for influencing and converting others is not persuasive words, but persuasive actions. A life well-lived is a more powerful argument on behalf of Christianity than any nicely reasoned verbal argument. Saint Cajetan believed the Church to be in a state of severe disrepair. Rather than influence the Church by leaving or verbally attacking it, Saint Cajetan made his life an argument, reminding the clergy and Church that the purpose of the Church is not to attain power, but to love others, spread Jesus' message, and help the poor and downtrodden.


Dear God, please ensure that my life is an example to all of your truth and goodness. Help my example teach others about the fruits of love and holiness.