Theatines

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Description:
The Theatines or the Congregation of Clerks Regular of the Divine Providence are a male religious order of the Catholic Church, with the post-nominal initials "C.R."

Foundation

The order was founded by Saint Cajetan (Gaetano dei Conti di Tiene), Paolo Consiglieri, Bonifacio da Colle, and Giovanni Pietro Carafa (afterwards Pope Paul IV). Carafa was Bishop of Chieti; Chieti (Theate) is a city of the Abruzzi in Central Italy, from which the congregation adopted its specific name, to distinguish it from other congregations (Jesuits, Barnabites, Somaschi, Caracciolini, etc.) modelled upon it.

Cajetan consecrated his order to the Cross, which he adopted as its emblem, and the foundation took place on the feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross, May 3, 1524. It was approved on June 24 of that year, by Pope Clement VII in the Brief Exponi Nobis. On September 14, feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Cajetan and his companions made solemn profession before the papal altar of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, in the presence of Mgr. Giovanni Battista Bonziano, Bishop of Caserta, a special papal delegate.

The chief object of the order was to recall the clergy to an edifying life and the laity to the practice of virtue. Cajetan and his companions zealously endeavoured to combat the teachings of Martin Luther, which, having gained a foothold in Switzerland, Germany, England, and France, then threatened Italy. They founded oratories (among them the celebrated Divino Amore) and...
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