Castle Thiene is a place with so much history, stories of a distant past, and many of these can be found in the private chapel opposite the entrance tower. Although the church was altered slightly during the 19th century, it is still largely the same as it would have looked when originally designed in the late 1400s.
The altar still has the altarpiece said to have been sculpted by Pietro Lombardo, divided into three parts: Madonna with child in the centre, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Francis to the sides, and the Eternal Father flanked by cherubs above. Next to the altar is the entrance to the sacristy where, at the top of the arch, there is a high-relief sculpture of Christ supported by two angels.
In the centre of the church there is a lavishly decorated stone slab on the floor from the tomb of Francesco Porto, a General of the Venetian Republic.
The chapel also contains a portrait from the Venetian school of the 17th century of Saint Catejan of Thiene.
Catejan lived a full life and one which played an important part in the history of the church and Italy: he joined the Roman Curia in 1506 as a protonotary apostolic and was ordained as a priest in 1516. A few years later in 1522 he founded the Ospedale degli Incurabili (the “Hospital for Incurables”, mainly people suffering from syphilis).
He renounced his positions and in 1524 founded, along with Gian Pietro Carafa the future Pop Paul IV, the first Congregation of Clerics Regular, known as the Theatines, with the aim of returning the Church to the modest apostolic life, a reflection of the desire for renewal of ecclesiastical life. In 1527 the troops of Charles V sacked Rome: Catejan and his brothers fortunately made it to Venice, where he remained for a few years before moving to Naples. There he founded the first Theatine house and the “Mount of Piety”, a credit institution which was a forerunner to the Bank of Naples. And it was there where he died on 7 August 1547. He was buried in San Paolo Maggiore basilica, with the inscription “Here lies a man who prays a lot for his people”.
Catejan was beatified in 1629 by Urban VIII and was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Clement X at the request of Louis XIV, the King of France.