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Tommaso De Vio Cajetan

1464-1534. Dominican cardinal and philosopher. Born of noble stock and studious by nature, he defied his parents' wishes and entered the Dominican Order* before he was sixteen. He studied at Naples, Bologna, and Padua and established a reputation through lectures and writing (he is credited with some 115 works). Appointed to the chair of metaphysics at Bologna, he enhanced his reputation through attacking the prevailing humanism. His celebrated work De Ente et Essentia was directed against Averroism.* He became a recognized exponent of Thomas Aquinas.* His defense of the power and monarchical supremacy of the pope at the Pseudo-Council of Pisa (1511) increased his favor at Rome. Through Ferdinand of Spain he was successful in sending the first Dominican missionary for the conversion of the natives of America. He was created cardinal in 1517. His greatest disappointment was his failure to persuade Luther to recant when they met on three successive days in Augsburg in 1518. Cajetan was one of Luther's most competent opponents.