The Theatines - Clerics Regular
The Theatines - (Clerics Regular)
We have already indicated in a previous chapter how Gaetano's order was formed, who the other co-founders were and how they started to be commonly called Theatines from Theati the old name of Chieti whose Bishop Carafa was. This name distinguished it from other congregations (Jesuits, Barnabites, Somaschi, Caracciolini, etc.)

The aim of the order was to recall the clergy to a spiritual life and the laity to the practice of virtue. Gaetano and his companions did their best to combat the errors of Protestantism, which had already spread in Switzerland, Germany, England, and France, and were threatening Italy. They founded oratories and hospitals, devoted themselves to preaching the Gospel, and reforming lax morals. Through their good example clergy and laity were invited to living a better and holier life. The Motto chosen by Don Gaetano for his order was: "Querite primum regnum Dei" meaning: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God" and this was taken from Matthewĺ─˘s Gospel.

Even though their rule of life was severe, the congregation rapidly developed, and soon had in its fold, important names of Italian aristocracy. They founded many beautiful churches, among them that of San Andrea della Valle in Rome, a gift of Costanza Piccolomini D'Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi. The Theatines were invited to Torino, Genova, Venice, Milan, Padova, Piacenza, Parma, Modena, Firenze, Naples, Palermo, Messina, Lecce, and other Italian provinces and cities by the local authorities. They also started developing in foreign countries. In France, through the efforts of Cardinal Mazarin, they built the Church of St.Anne la Royale opposite the Louvre in 1644. In Spain, under Philip II, the Theatine Cardinal Paolo Burali d'Arezzo, afterwards Beatified, filled various embassies at the command of the viceroy of Naples. In Portugal John IV, in 1648, gave the Theatines a splendid house and college for the education of noble youth. From Henry VIII's England, Thomas Goldwell, Bishop of St.Asaph, entered the order.

The Theatines were pioneers in the foundation of papal missions in foreign lands, as in: Golconda, Ava, Peru, Mingrelia, the Islands of Sunda, Borneo, Sumatra, the history of which was written by the Theatine Bartolomeo Ferro; Georgia, Arabia, Armenia, in which latter country Father Galano, author of the history of the Armenian Church, negotiated and concluded the reconciliation and union of that Church with the Roman Catholic; Persia and in many other places, as is shown by Theatine manuscripts dating from 1530 till the end of the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century the order began to decline, and in 1860, through the suppression of religious orders, it was reduced to a shadow of its former greatness.

Father Francesco di Paola Ragonesi, general of the order and the last surviving representative of its ancient traditions, restored the Church of San Andrea della Valle to its former splendour, by his care and zeal aided by the munificence of Comm. Filippo Giove Romano. Pius X, in a Motu Proprio of 15 December, 1909, decreed the union of the ancient Congregation of the Regular Theatine Clergy with the youthful Spanish Congregation of the Holy Family in Barcelona, but this union was dissolved in 1916. Besides the two saints, Gaetano, invoked for the interposition of Providence, and Andrea Avellino, against sudden death, the order furnished one Pope, Paul IV (Giovanni Pietro Carafa one of the original founders), 250 bishops, archbishops, and papal legates, and the cardinals: Blessed Giovanni Marinoni, Blessed Paolo Burali d'Arezzo, Blessed Giuseppe Maria Tomasi, Giovanni Bernardino Scotti, Francesco and Domenico Pignatelli, Giuseppe Capece-Zurlo, Francesco Maria Banditi, and Ferdinando Pignatelli, the last named created cardinal by Gregory XVI. Father Anton Francesco Vezzosi treats of the illustrious men of the order in his work 'I scrittori de' chierici regolari detti Teatini', Rome, 1780. The last famous Theatine was the philosopher, littłęrateur, and great sacred orator, Father Gioacchino Ventura dei baroni di Raulica, a Sicilian. He preached and wrote in both Italian and French and his most celebrated work is his funeral oration on the death of Daniel O'Connell. He was the friend of the most illustrious men of his day, among them the Abbłę de Lamennais whom he sought to save for the Catholic Church. He died at Versailles in 1860.

Among important Theatines we find:

San Gaetano Thiene
San Andrea Avellino.
San Giuseppe Maria Tomasi - Cardinal
Blessed Giovanni Marinoni
Blessed Paolo Burali dĺ─˘Arezzo - Cardinal Archbishop of Naples
A number of Venerables
Giovanni Morandi - Theologian
Antonio Diana - Moralist
Giuseppe Silos & Antonio Vezzosi - Historians
Giuseppe Piazzi - Astronomer
Francesco Grimaldi & Guerino Guerini - Architects
Gioacchino Ventura de Raulica - Philosopher
Philip Galletti - Painter.
On the Right is a painting of San Gaetano holding Jesus who is looking at San Andrea Avellino......
The Theatines are presently working in:


Buenos Aires:

Minas Gerais:
Nova Era: House & Parish Sao Jose de Lagoa.
Rio Piracicaba: Parish Sao Miguel Arcanjo.
Contagem: House, Juniorate St Joseph Avellino.
Sao Paolo:
San Paolo: Parish of Our Lady of Sorrows; Parish of St.Gerald
Bernardino de Campos: Parish of Our Lady of Peace
Fartura: House and Minor Seminary
Guarulhos: House.
Itaiĺ─˘: Parish of St Anthony
Ourinhos: Parish Cathedral of Our Lord Jesus; Parish of St.Pius X Pinheirinho: Theatine Seminary St.Pius X
Ponte Grande: Junior & Senior Seminary Sao Caetano
Taguai: Parish of Sta. Rita of Cascia
Taquarituba: House and Parish of St.Roque.
Londrina: New parish.

Santiago de Cali:
Parish of St Albert the great
Churches of St Augustin, St Alfons, St Andrew.

Parish church of St. Hubert built in 1954.
Parish church of St. Anthony built in 1897, demolished by bombing in W.W.II. Modern one built in 1962.
Parish church of St. Maximilian Kolbe built in 1978.

General Curia
Provincial Curia
Poggio Martino House & Parish
Morlupo House, Parish, Junior Novitiate.
S.Paolo Maggiore: Parish, House, Novitiate.
St Joseph the Worker Parish.
Mary Queen of the World Parish.
Lucania: San Andrea Avellino House.
'S.Giuseppe ai 4 Canti' House.

Archdioceses of Puebla:
Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Palma de Mallorca:
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Castanar.
San Cayetano House/College.
St Alphonse House/College.
Assumption of Our Lady Parish.
St Alphonse House.
Sant Gaietaĺ─˘ House.
Parish, House of Our Lady of Providence & San Cayetano.
Sta. Maria de Iranzu House.
Sta. Maria de Castanar House.

St Louis:
Provincial Curia.
Sangre de Cristo Parish.
St Andrew Avellino Parish.
St Cajetan Parish.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
Fort Collin:
The Holy Family Parish.
Our Lady of Guadalupe & San Agustin Parish.
The Sacred Heart Mission.
Pagosa Springs:
Immaculate heart of Mary Parish.
New York:
Our Lady of Fatima Parish.