San Cayetano/San Gaetano/Saint Cajetan (1480-1547) sought out the sick and poor, and served them, and sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church itself, rather than withdraw from it in the manner of the Protestants.
He founded a hospital for incurables at Venice, where he was devoted to spiritual healing as well as the physical kind. He sought to combine the spirit of monasticism with the exercises of an active ministry. He said, “We try to serve God by worship; in our hospital, we may say that we actually find him.
In Naples, he founded a fund that lent money on the security of pawned objects to help the poor and protect them against usurers; today, he is the patron saint of the unemployed.
At the end of his life, worn down by the troubles he confronted everywhere, Cajetan fell ill. When those caring for him urged him to rest on a softer bed than the boards he slept on, he said, “My savior died on a cross. Let me die on wood at least.”
He was formally declared a saint in 1671.
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