Born in Vicenza, Italy, Cajetan earned a doctorate in civil and canon law at the University of Padua. He took an ecclesiastical office in Rome under Pope Julius II and was ordained in 1516, joining a local oratory. In Rome and other northern Italian cities, he focused on helping the sick. With three other Italians, one a bishop who later became pope, he founded in 1523 the first order of clerks regular, the Theatines, which took its name from the bishop’s see. The priests of this reform congregation aided the Catholic Reformation, taking vows and living communally but also doing pastoral work. They served the sick, preached and studied the Bible. Cajetan died in Naples; he is patron of the Theatines and domestic animals.