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Being born and raised in the town of Hamrun on the Mediterranean island of Malta, I am very familiar with the name San Gejtanu as we Maltese call San Gaetano the Italian Patron Saint of our town. I grew up hearing his name especially during church liturgy and external festivities on his feast day of the 7th August. I could also, many times through the year, hear his name being called around me because many of the sons and daughters of Hamrun including some of my friends are named Gejtu or Gejtana for the Patron.
As I grew up and started taking part in church music, I became more acquainted with the Saint's life during homilies delivered in his honour. Later on I started to look up leaflets in Maltese about his life and still later in Canada, I began to read more extensively from web sites any material connected to him I could lay my hands on. Sad to say I could not find anything at length about his life in English except a few very short paragraphs on the Internet.
So this is why I took up this task in my retirement years, gleaning all the information I could about him from any source, freely translating into English, adding from other sources and setting it out in this form... It is not my intention to deliver just the information about his life and whereabouts of paintings showing him or churches dedicated to him, but I would sincerely like, through this labour of love, instill in anyone who is interested, devotion towards my favourite Saint .
Below is a timeline of San Gaetano's life on which I built my project chapters. These deal about the world around him; about the situation of the Church and the upheavals through which he lived, and also about the makeup of the Theatines - His Order. His own prayers and others that his devotees made up; Gaetano in Art and Music are some other chapters.
1480 - Birth
1482 - His father is killed in battle
1504 - Doctor at Law
1506 - Rome - Secretary to Pope
1515 - Joined the Oratory of 'Divino Amore'
1516 - Ordination
1517 - Vision
1518 - He goes to Vicenza to attend to sick mother
1520 - Mother dies in his arms
1522 - Venice hospital
1524 - New Order
1525 - Holy Year - Theatines help Pilgrims in Rome
1527 - Sacking of Rome
1533 - Naples
1538 - Theatines take possession of San Paolo Maggiore
1540 - Gaetano elected superior in Venice
1543 - Gaetano elected superior in Naples
1547 - Death
1629 - Beatification
1671 - Canonization
Through this project I will call the Saint according to the name used in the locality or country I will be treating. In this way, if one reads the list below, one will have an idea of the different slants and pronunciations of his name in the different languages.
San Gaetano: (his actual name in Italian) is also known as:
Saint Cajetan.......... in English.
Sanctus Gaetanus... in Latin.
Saint Gaetan.......... in the dialect of Piemonte Italy.
San Ghitan............ in the dialect of Veneto in Italy.
Santu Gaetanu........ in Sicily, Sardinia and Umbria Italy.
Saint Gaetan.......... by the French speaking.
San Cayetano........ by the Spanish speaking.
Sant Gaieta'............ in Catalan of N Spain.
San Queitano......... in the Spanish province of Galicia.
Sao Caetano..... by Portuguese speaking and areas of Northern Spain.
Sankt or Heilige Kajetan.. in German.
St.Caietaner............ also sometimes in German.
Sveti Kajetan......... in Serbo-Croat.
Svati' Kajetan......... in Czech.
Sint.Cajetanus....... in Dutch.
San Gejtanu........... in Maltese .
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