Trust in Divine Providence
SAN GAETANO
Contact
Trust in Divine Providence
With Gaetano, the life of poverty reached its extreme limits,completely dependent on the Providence of God, and nothing else. This is the reason why San Gaetano is considered to be the Saint of Divine Providence. To this end, Gaetano took as the motto for his Theatines: Matt. 6.33 which is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself saying: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its justice, and all these things shall be added unto you".

One story is told about Don Gaetano's trust in God's Providence: The church of San Nicola da Tolentino was, as already mentioned, given to the Theatines to care for. Don Gaetano had already done his utmost to trim from the convent budget so he could invest more in the temple's care and embellishment, but at one point, the debts were too much to balance the alms given them. So a debt deadline came up which could not be honoured and he had to humbly ask for an extension. The new date came and went with the same situation, still no money and Don Gaetano having to resort to asking for Divine intervention. A few moments before the creditor was scheduled to arrive, a young man of handsome appearance showed up and without a word dropped a packet in Don Gaetano's hands and with a salute, left. At the very moment the young man exited, the creditor came in with a sour face. Don Gaetano had the inspiration not to say a word but to open the parcel. In it was the exact amount of money owed. The beautiful story could end here, but the creditor who brushed past the handsome youth on his way in, saw the face of Gaetano shine and silently looked for an answer to the hard hearted question he had in mind. By and by all his profit making intentions melted away and he was moved to remorse, admiration and love. He replaced the money in the priestĺ─˘s hands saying "In my hands, this is just money but in yours it is the fruit of Godĺ─˘s grace".

Another example can be found in the latter part of our Saint's life in Naples. The charity of the Neapolitan people towards the convent was constant but not bound to day or time. It could happen that some days they received more than enough with the surplus being given to the poor; on other days it was the Theatines themselves who went hungry. Here is what happened on one of these particularly lean days: The person in charge of the kitchen had nothing to prepare that day and was busy doing other chores whilst keeping an ear open for the bell which usually announced the arrival of alms. Sadly the morning passed without the sound of the bell and it was too late to explain the situation to the superior. The kitchen man was ordered to ring the refectory bell for dinner and the brothers gathered around the bare table. We do not know Don Gaetanoĺ─˘s exact words on this occasion but they must have been sincere and humble ones because right after the prayers were finished the door bell rang and the cook ran to open the door only to have a basket of bread dropped in his arms not knowing by whom.
When he took this to the refectory and the bread was distributed among the brothers, the white, soft, aromatic bread was said to taste like none before or after... bread of angels... but most of the brothers had the name of the angel on the tip of their tongues... Gaetano.