SAN GAETANO
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INTRODUCTION
Although San Gaetano is an Italian Saint who was born in the latter part of the 15th century and lived all his life in Italy, his name and the devotion towards him have spread all over the world. There are few corners in Italy where one cannot find at least a niche or a small painting of the Saint or a small chapel dedicated to him. It is surprising how in my forays across the world wide web, I found how nearly all the small Italian, Spanish and some other islands of the Mediterranean and elsewhere have some place or church named after him! It seems he was attracted to the littlest of us! There are various parishes in south America of whom he is Patron Saint and 'Barrios' or districts that bear his name. In Brazil there is even a large city named after him called 'Sao Caetano do Sul'. His sanctuaries can be found in the Indian subcontinent in Goa, and in Buenos Aires Argentina. A parish church with San Gaetano as Patron exists in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and a church with his dedication exists in the southernmost area of South America in Tierra del Fuego. Please see details of the above in the linking page to his presence in many countries of the world.

On the other hand it is easy to imagine, with Malta's proximity to Italy, how an Italian Saint became the Patron of a Maltese town. Actually he was the namesake of the Bishop of Malta when Hamrun was still a small village starting to build its Parish church. But that's another story which will be dealt with in more detail further on, so will the devotion towards him around the world and his Spirituality.

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 the 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 books 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 it 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 although as one can see in the interactive Index, I interjected with other 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 other relevant chapters. Little items of information which are interesting though less important make up another chapter 'Here and there'.
Timeline:
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 by different names, according to the name used in the locality I will be treating. In this way, if one reads the list below, one will have an idea of the different slants and pronunciation of his name in the different languages.

San Gaetano: (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 Northern 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 North Spain.
San Queitano.................... in Galicia, the Spanish province North of Portugal

Sao Caetano..................... in Portuguese and in 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 my language, Maltese .