Saint Cajetan of Thiene (also known as Saint Gaetano, 1480-1547), zealous reformer of the clergy, founder of the Theatine Order, and patron saint of the unemployed. As many of the prayer requests that I receive involve prayers for those who are unemployed or seeking work, I will pray this novena to Saint Cajetan beginning today, for the next nine days—for all those who are seeking employment, both requested on this blog and maintained in the quiet of their hearts.
For those of you who wish to join me in this novena to Saint Cajetan, each day of the novena begins with the prayer for that day, followed by saying the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Doxology (Glory Be) three times each. The intercession, “Saint Cajetan, pray for us” is prayed three times, followed by the daily prayer (below).
Saint Cajetan, pray for us. Intercede for us with Jesus Our Lord!
Daily Prayer (said each day)
O glorious St. Cajetan, you studied to be a lawyer, but when you felt that the Lord was calling you to his service, you abandoned everything and became a priest. You excelled in virtues, shunning all material rewards for your labor, helping the many unemployed people of your time. You provided loans without interest and you attracted a lot of benefactors who donated to your resources so that you could go on with your activities. Look on us with mercy. We wish to find employment that could help us and our families live with dignity. Listen to our petitions, dear saint; you who could easily give up the food on your table for the needy, bring our petitions to Jesus (here make your request). Amen.
You were a model of virtue among the priests of your time, O St. Cajetan. You sought not to receive payments from your ministry, and you taught people how to pray the rosary and develop devotions to saints. You were truly a spiritual shepherd, and your concern was always focused on the salvation of souls. But despite this, you were also aware that with hungry stomachs, the faithful would have difficulty in understanding God’s Word. You embarked to help them, not just by giving them bread but helping them gain their living by work. Look on us with pity, O glorious saint. We have many unemployed people in our midst and their families go hungry. We ask you to guide the fathers and mothers who are looking for work. Amen.
Despite your busy schedule, dear saint, you spent eight hours a day in prayer. Your happiness consists in being united with Jesus, to savor his presence in the Eucharist. Guide us to be like you by giving priority to prayer in our life. Enable us to savor Jesus’ presence and help us become contemplatives like you. Inspire us to understand that prayer is not just asking Jesus for our needs, but being with him, delighting in his presence. We ask you, dear saint, to lead us in this direction that we may learn to delight in Jesus’ presence. Amen.
Since your death, dear St. Cajetan, the unemployed people of the world had sought your intercession. Work is the key to a happy life. Look with pity on the millions of people in our country who wake up each morning without certainty of finding food because they don’t have work. These people become victims of desperation and some even resort to crimes to survive. Help our government leaders formulate policies that will bring about employment. You who established a bank for the needy inspire our leaders to extend loans for the poor so that they may provide for the needs of their families. Amen.
O glorious St. Cajetan, you spent long hours helping the sick and worked yourself to exhaustion in helping victims of plagues which were frequent in your time. You cared for the sick not just to heal them, but to guide them to a happy death. You wanted their souls, not their bodies. Help us to understand that we have to prepare ourselves to a happy death. May we likewise see that the most terrible sickness is our sinfulness, and we always have to examine ourselves for the sins we commit daily. Inspire us to have repentant hearts that we may always be prepared to meet the Lord. Amen.
O glorious St. Cajetan, your unceasing fasting and penance help people understand that God must be loved above all things and above all persons. You sacrificed anything or anyone that could block you from loving God with your whole soul, mind, heart and body. By eating little, you showed to others that man does not live on bread alone. You renewed the faith of many people, touched their hearts, and helped much in the reformation of the Church. Inspire us to fast and do penance for our sins. Instill on us the spirit of sacrifice that we, too, may love God intensely as you did. Amen.
O glorious St. Cajetan, you received many special blessings from Jesus, visions and mystical experiences because of your union with him. While contemplating the mystery of incarnation, Mary appeared to you and put on your lap the baby Jesus. You held on to the baby and made your heart his dwelling place. Jesus truly loved you and his Mother trusted you. Listen then to our petitions on this last day of our novena and bring them to Jesus. Prove to us that now in heaven you are closer to Jesus and he listens to you. Amen.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."