Catanoso, Gaetano (Cajetan), Bl.
CATANOSO, GAETANO (CAJETAN), BL.
Priest of Reggio Calabria, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Veronica of the Holy Face (Congregazione delle Suore Veroniche del Volto Santo ); b. Chorio di San Lorenzo, Reggio Calabria, Italy, Feb. 14, 1879; d. Reggio Calabria April 4, 1963. Gaetano's parents were landowners who encouraged his faith and vocation. Ordained in 1902, he gained a reputation for holiness while serving as a parish priest. In 1920, he founded a parish confraternity and newsletter devoted to the Holy Father. He also used the bulletin to promote the Poor Clerics Association and to encourage vocations. Catanoso was appointed pastor of Santa Maria della Candelora, Reggio Calabria (1921), where he founded the Missionaries of the Holy Face and built a shrine in honor of the Holy Face. The first members of the congregation—dedicated to charity, prayer for reparation, and catechesis—were clothed in 1935 and their constitutions were approved by the diocese in 1958. To renew spirituality among his flock, Catanoso promoted eucharistic and Marian devotions, catechesis, and parish missions. He organized teams of priests to conduct these missions in the region. In addition to his parish work (1921–50), Catanoso served as chaplain to religious institutes, a prison, a hospital, and the archdiocesan seminary. He was immediately venerated after his death. An inexplicable healing at his intercession, approved as a miracle June 25, 1996, led to his beatification by John Paul II on May 4, 1997.
Feast: April 4.
Bibliography: a. sorrentino, Il Tuo Volto, Signore, io cerco (Reggio Calabria 1996). Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 12 (1997): 599.
[k. i. rabenstein]